BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1(1)
NGEZI PLATINUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0(2)
NGEZI PLATINUM leaped to the summit of Group 4 of the Chibuku Super Cup after dispatching FC Platinum 2-1 in a pulsating encounter played at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane yesterday.
Even with few moments to go, it was incredibly tense, but it was Bruno Mtigo, who rose from the bench late in the second half to inspire an impressive comeback for the visiting Mhondoro-Ngezi side.
Ngezi Platinum had started the match on the front-foot, creating chances that could have been converted on a good day.
As early as the first minute, Rahman Kutsanzira, who has been reinvented by Norman Mapeza to a full-back was dispossessed by Anelka Chivandire just outside the box but the latter’s final effort was tame.
Gerald Takwara almost scored two minutes later with a flashing header that narrowly mixed the target.
On the other end, Silas Songani had his low shot cut across the face of goal on the 11th minute.
Moments later, the Zvishavane side were almost punished after Gift Bello was dispossessed by Wellington Taderera at the edge of the box, but the former Black Rhinos player failed to convert with goalkeeper Petros Mhari to beat.
In the 16th minute, Songani was released on the right flank by Rodwell Chinyengetere to turn Polite Moyo inside out, before unleashing a low shot that went wide.
The pendulum further shifted in favour of FC Platinum when Ngezi Platinum talisman Denver Mukamba was substituted after sustaining an ankle injury.
However, Rodwell Dhlakama’s men refused to be cowed into submission.
The Mhondoro-Ngezi side, however, felt robbed when their call for a penalty was ignored by referee Tabani Bamala after Chivandire was fouled by Bello in the box.
Songani then broke the deadlock on the 38th minute after a near interplay that involved Kelvin Mangiza and Panashe Mutimbanyoka.
Although the second half was a see-saw affair, it was Ngezi Platinum who created better scoring chances.
Nigel Makumbe in particular was impressive after hitting the woodwork on two occasions.
Ngezi Platinum anchorman Gerald Takwara dominated the midfield, providing clean balls to Makumbe and Taderera.
However, the introduction of Mtigo and Tendai Matindife marked the turn of Ngezi’s fortunes as the former notched a brace which was all they needed to collect maximum points and leap to the summit of the group. Makumbe lofted a pass on the right flank and Mtigo packed a neat shot beyond Mhari to double the scoreline.
FC Platinum finished the match with ten men after Gift Bello was red-carded for protesting against the referee.
- Follow Terry on Twitter@madyautatpm