We'll bounce back: Mapeza

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says his team will not allow last weekend’s home defeat to ZPC Kariba to affect their confidence.

The defeat ended the platinum miners’ eight-game unbeaten streak with the only consolation being that they remained in pole position on the log.

Mapeza’s side had gone on an 28-game unbeaten run in the league dating back to last year May when they lost 1-0 to Dynamos.

Against ZPC Kariba, FC Platinum were the better side for larger parts of the match before Tawanda Nyamandwe cancelled a Winstone Mhango opener and Never Tigere sealed all three points for Sunday Chidzambwa’s side.

Mapeza, who won the league title with the now-defunct Monomotapa in 2008, does not believe the defeat will damage his side’s momentum.

“It’s normal in a game of football. There is no way you can go for the whole season undefeated. We are not surprised though about the defeat. We knew it was something that was going to happen,” Mapeza told the Daily News yesterday.

“The team was really up for the game and there is nothing else we can do but lift ourselves up. Defeats teach you things, they teach you that every game is difficult and the players know that.”

The former Warriors coach says his team is committed to work hard and the important thing will be how they respond to the defeat in their next league game.

“This game doesn’t exist anymore, there is no pain. You can’t choose when you are going to lose. We have to recover and remember that the most consistent team normally wins the title,” Mapeza said.

“We need to keep on working hard. I’m very proud of my players and how they are performing.”

FC Platinum are enjoying one of their finest seasons in recent times, with expectations of a top four finish now replaced with a belief that they could manage the incredible feat of winning the title.

For ZPC Kariba, their win against FC Platinum lifted them to third place on the log with 18 points, the same number as second-placed CAPS United but they have an inferior goal difference.

In other matches played over the weekend, CAPS were held to a frustrating goalless draw against plucky Triangle at the National Sports Stadium.

Had the Green Machine collected maximum points in that match, they would have gone top of the table.

Defender Stephen Makatuka felt they gave everything but it was not their day.

“I think we played well but it was just not our day,” Makatuka told the Daily News after the game.

“We need to keep our heads high going forward. We are playing well but obviously it is difficult to win every match.”

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