Platinum drop crucial points

ZVISHAVANE - Castle Lager Premiership log leaders FC Platinum had their lead at the top cut to three points after they were held 1-1 by defending champions Chicken Inn here Saturday.

Platinum are now on 43 points from 21 matches while second-placed CAPS United, who trashed Mutare City Rovers 4-1 yesterday, are on 40 points.

Norman Mapeza’s charges had rallied ahead in the first half when Walter Musona took advantage of an Elvis Chipezeze howler and lofted the ball into an empty net in the 35th minute.

Chicken Inn showed their resolve and broke the hearts of the home side’s fans when Nicholas Muchadeyi scored the equaliser with a screamer two minutes before the end.

Mapeza was shuttered with the last-gasp equaliser his side conceded but expressed contentment at the point gained.

“I thought we had wrapped up the game and conceding in the last two minutes is disappointing but I’m happy with the point,” Mapeza said.

Chicken Inn gaffer Rahman Gumbo, however, felt the log leaders were lucky to even get a point.

“Don’t you think they were lucky to get a point? My keeper made a silly mistake…they never threatened,” Gumbo said.

The match kicked off on a high tempo as both sides pressed for an opening goal.

Musona had a good chance to open the scoring but skied his effort after the home side had curved open the Gamecocks defence in the early exchanges.

As the game progressed, Chicken Inn began to impose themselves with the evergreen Clement Matawu dictating pace in midfield.

Musona finally got it right after a mix-up between Chipezeze and his defence to lob the ball into an empty net.

Four minutes later, Chipezeze, who appeared jittery, hesitated to cut out a cross from Nqobizitha Masuku but there was no takers for the home side.

The second period began with a tactical change from Gumbo who pulled out Pride Tafirenyika for Cannan Nkomo to strengthen the attack.

Moments later, the Gamecocks coach brought in forward Moses Demera for defender Guide Goddard.

Forward Darryl Nyandoro was also pulled off in the 65th minute and replaced by the goal scorer Muchadeyi.

After the changes, the visitors began dominating the proceedings but were let down by their poor finishing.

With the home side seemingly headed for a win, Muchadeyi produced a moment of magic when his screamer gave Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari no chance.

Fellow second half substitute Demera could have grabbed all three points for the gamecocks but missed a seater right at the death.

Teams:

FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, Ian Nekati, Gift Bello, Elvis Moyo, Kevin Moyo, Winston Mhango, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Nqobizita Masuku, Charles Sibanda, Tarisai Rukanda (Marshal Mudehwe 76’), Walter Musona.

Chicken Inn: Elvis Cipezeze, Passmore Bernard, Divine Lunga, Guide Goddard (Moses Demera 53m), Darryl Nyandoro (Nicholas Muchadeyi 65m), Pride Tafirenyika (Cannan Nkomo 45m), Thabani Goredema, Moses Jackson, Clement Matawu, Lawrence Mhlanga, Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

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