Musona strike sinks Rhinos

HARARE - Walter Musona’s second half strike secured FC Platinum’s place in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup after edging Black Rhinos in a closely fought semi-final at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.

Musona headed home the decisive goal in the 15 minutes from fulltime after coming to the end of a sweeping move to earn his team a place in the final and equally end Black Rhinos’ merry run in the competition.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza credited his side’s winning streak in the competition to the transformations he has made since taking over from Lloyd Mutasa at the Zvishavane side in August.

“I’m happy to have reached the final. I have been at FC Platinum for only two months so to take the club to a cup final, I think it’s a great achievement,” Mapeza told reporters after the match.

“We have been working very hard. And I have been telling these guys the importance of playing in a cup final and I think we have achieved that.”

His opposite number Jostein Mathuthu, who will now turn his teams focus to fighting against relegation from the Premier League, said his side had exceeded expectation by reaching the semi-final.

“We are happy that we have gone this far considering where we are coming from. We are okay, we are happy with what we did. It also gives us time to concentrate on the league.”

Thriving on patient build ups and sleek passing, the platinum miners assumed control of much of the first half.

But, credit to the army side, they refused to be bullied and showed signs of taking the game to their more illustrious opponents.

Rhinos came close in the 16th minute through Nesbert Padzarondora’s sizzling effort from outside the box that whistled past the upright.

FC Platinum had thought they had surged ahead in the nine minutes later after Obrey Chirwa’s header beat Rhinos goalie Samuel Mafukidze but some frantic defending saw the ball cleared off the line.

The platinum miners continued to cause nervous moments for Rhinos backline but strangely never took a short at goal as they seemed content to hang onto possession and neatly find their way into the box.

Musona  was gifted an early chance to send the Zvishavane miners ahead just after the half hour mark but completely missed the ball after he had been set up by Elvis Moyo.

Shortly after, FC Platinum were lucky not to have midfielder Blessing Dzumbunu sent off when he caught Rhinos defender Shadreck Jimu on the sheen with a high studs challenge.

But somehow referee Philani Ncube allowed the midfielder to escape with only a yellow card.

Towards the end of the first half, Rhinos’ striker Lot Chiunga wasted a glorious chance to give his side the lead when he shot over from five yards out from a Brian Muzondiwa cross.

The second period was similar to the first as both sides took turns to dominate but still failed to trouble the goalkeepers.

However, it would be FC Platinum that would surge ahead and stay in front after a neat interchange.

Musona ignited the move near the centre circle before finding Raphael Muduviwa down the right channel.

The Young Warriors striker continued with his run into the box where he met Muduviwa’s cross with a neat headed finish past Mafukidze.

Teams

FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, Elvis Moyo, Gift Bello, Kelvin Moyo, Raphael Muduviwa, Thabani Kamusoko, Walter Musona, Brian Dzumbunu (Allen Gahadzikwa 50min), Wisdom Mutasa (Simon Shoko 89th min), Benjamin  Marere (Donald Ngoma), Obrey Chirwa.

Black Rhinos: Samuel Mafukidze, Saimon Choenda, Milton Kureva, Shadreck Jimu, Bruce Homora, Wonder Kapinda (Douglas Mbewe 83min), Reuben Machaya, Stephen Matsangase, Lot Chiunga, Brian Muzondiwa, Nesbert Padzarondora (Lincoln Saramaya 76th min).

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