What happened to Nelson Maziwisa?

HARARE - FC Platinum forward Nelson Maziwisa started the 2013 Castle Premiership season on a high note, netting five goals in the opening three matches.

Maziwisa opened his account when he scored in the platinum miners’ 2-1 away win to Buffaloes in the first game of the season.

The former Shabanie Mine forward then turned on the style with a brace in the 4-1 win over How Mine at Mandava Stadium.

Another brace followed in the next game against Black Mambas and at that point it looked like it would take something special to stop him from scoring.

But since that match against Mambas, the 2012 Golden Boot Winner has struggled to find the back of the net and has gone for eight matches without scoring.

At the weekend, Maziwisa had the best chance to end that goal drought when FC Platinum was awarded a penalty while trailing CAPS United 2-0.

As expected, the forward was handed the ball and the responsibility to reduce United’s lead from 12 yards out.

Going for long periods without a goal can be damaging to a striker’s confidence, and it was evident on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

Maziwisa lacked any sort of conviction as he went down to place the ball on the spot before taking a short run-up.

His resultant spot kick was a weak short driven to the right of Tafadzwa Dube and the United goalkeeper easily parried the ball for a corner.

It was no surprise to see Maziwisa shying away from the penalty area when FC Platinum were given a second penalty moments later.

This time around, midfielder Thabani Kamusoko showed Maziwisa how it’s done when he coolly slotted the ball home past Dube.       

Throughout the match, Maziwisa was getting into the right position but he lacked that killer instinct and precision that made him a deadly forward last season at Chinda Boys.

It appears that most coaches and defenders are now aware of the threat that he poses and work extra hard to keep him under check.

At Shabanie, Maziwisa was largely an unknown quantity, which worked in his favour as he would catch most defenders by surprise. It is no longer the case this season.

Winning the Golden Boot last season and moving to FC Platinum has only added to the pressure and expectation.

The Zvishavane-based miners are a side that is battling to justify their heavy investment by winning important silverware which has eluded them during their short stay in the top flight.

With the games coming thick and fast, Maziwisa needs to start rediscovering his scoring touch again because it is only a matter of time before Platinum coach Tenant Chilumba starts trying out other combinations upfront.

The platinum miners have lost significant ground in the title race in recent weeks. The defeat to CAPS was hot-on-the-heels of another loss to struggling Hwange last week.

In their previous two matches, Chilumba’s men had also drawn with Monomotapa and Highlanders.

After that flying start which was propelled by Maziwisa’s goals, FC platinum now find themselves five points behind log leaders Bosso.

In order to reignite their fading title challenge, Chilumba might want to give out-of-favour forward Donald Ngoma another chance.

Zambian forward Aubrey Chirwa has showed glimpses of promise since making his debut recently and if Ngoma is recalled into the starting line-up, it could be at Maziwisa’s expense.

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