FC Platinum ends Bosso unbeaten run. . .leaves league race wide open

FC Platinum put up a vintage performance to end high riding Highlanders’ unbeaten run this season, and leaving the Castle Lager Premier Soccer league race wide open at Mandava yesterday

FC PLATINUM..........(1)2

HIGHLANDERS........ (0)0

FC Platinum put up a vintage performance to end high riding Highlanders’ unbeaten run this season, and leaving the Castle Lager Premier Soccer league race wide open at Mandava yesterday

Having gone for 19 matches without defeat in the league and 21 in all competitions, Highlanders' unbeaten run was finally brought to a screaming halt by the four-time PSL champions.

The Bulawayo giants had their lead cut to just two points after second -placed Ngezi Platinum Stars blew away Triangle 3–0 at Baobab at the same time.

A Peter Muduhwa first half own goal and a brilliant goal by Walter Musona was enough to dent Bosso’s title aspirations while giving coach Norman Mapeza and FC Platinum some respite.

Bosso gaffer Baltermar Brito refused to bury his head in shame following an uncharacteristically pitiful performance that saw the Bulawayo giants being outclassed and outwitted by their hosts.

"We lost, but we can't forget what these boys did in the last games. 

"We remain on the top of the league. FC Platinum is not an ordinary team. They did well in this match. This is the 20th game and all along we were playing well,” he said after the match.

"Nobody thought we would be on top of the log standings at this point. We are remaining focused, hoping that we will win the next match. We are not stopping," Brito added.

His counterpart, Mapeza, was on cloud nine after the win.

"This is the way we have been playing all along. We have been playing so good football but unfortunately we were not getting the desired results," Mapeza said.

"At the end of the day, I sat down with the boys and said we have to keep pushing, it’s still a long journey. Don't think much about our position on the log standings. I'm happy for the boys. We watched how they were playing, they were playing well.

"At the end of the day, we did our homework. If you can limit a team like Highlanders to have no shot on target, it means we were solid throughout the match." 

Highlanders have been so convincing since the start of the season, boasting 11 wins and eight draws thus far.

FC Platinum started the match in high tempo, keeping Highlanders on the backfoot with loads of pressure in the early exchanges.

Highlanders struggled to soak in the intense pressure, as Muduhwa beat his own goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda in an attempt to clear a cross that was whipped in by Musona.

Musona, who was having a good day in the office, came near on the 19th minute, but this time Sibanda was alert.

The reigning Soccer Star of the Year missed a sitter on the 35th minute when he beat the offside trap following a neat interplay that was spurred by Juan Mutudza and Panashe Mutimbanyoka.

Highlanders were lucky not to concede at least three goals in the first half as they were overwhelmed by FC Platinum in all respects.

Nothing changed in the second half as Highlanders struggled to breach the FC Platinum rear guard.

The Bulawayo giants appeared to have gained momentum after the hour mark. However they failed to carve out clean balls to strikers Stanley Ngala and Lynoth Chikuhwa.

Musona doubled the scores on the 75th minute, when he benefited from a stylish flick made by Mutimbanyoka.

The 27-year-old beat Sibanda with a rasping shot from close range.

That was the final nail on the coffin for the Brito-coached side.

Bosso remain at the summit of the log with 41 points on their tally.


FC PLATINUM: P Mhari, L Mhlanga, G Mbweti, N Chinyerere, M Ngwenya. H Magaya, J Mutudza, B Banda, P Mutimbanyoka, W Musona( D Teguru , T Ngwenya( P Chikwende 90')

HIGHLANDERS: A Sibanda, L Chikuhwa, M Mushore( C Chigonero 85'), B Manhire(W Navaya 73') A Mbeba, E Farasi( D Mukuli 46') P Muduhwa, S Ngala, A Faira, M Ndlovu, M Ncube

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