History repeating itself

HARARE - While all the attention this week will be centred on the Harare derby pitting log leaders CAPS United and Dynamos, history seems to be repeating itself for FC Platinum.

The stakes are even higher in this weekend’s derby following Makepekepe’s ascendency to the summit of the Castle Lager Premiership log.

CAPS now have a good chance of claiming their first league title since 2005 as they enjoy a two-point lead with only four games to go before the end of the season.  

FC Platinum are now in second place with 51 points while Highlanders have refused to be left out as they occupy third place having amassed 50 points.

After setting the local premiership alight with some breathtaking football earlier on, it seems the heat of the title race is getting the better of FC Platinum with last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Moses Chunga’s Harare City at Rufaro Stadium.

After the final whistle, the testy FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza completely lost his cool as he remonstrated with Philani Ncube for allowing the Sunshine Boys’ second goal scored by William Manondo to stand.

In the end, Mapeza had to be restrained by marshals and police before the situation had turned ugly.

After cooling down, the former Warriors captain said; “Sometimes after the game you need some clarity. I was checking on the second goal, I thought the guy was offside and I think I have got the right to go and ask him,” he said.

“I’m disappointed we lost the match but life goes on and we will keep on working hard and see how the season progresses.

“I have never said anything about referees but today, I’m not happy with the way they handled our game.

“That’s the most important thing. There are still four more games to go and like I always say — you can plan for tomorrow but you can never know what tomorrow brings.”

However, this is not the first time FC Platinum have found themselves in such a position.

In their maiden season in the top flight league back in 2011, the Zvishavane-based side agonisingly lost the title to Dynamos in the dying stages of the campaign.

That season, just like this year, FC Platinum, who were under the tutelage of Rahman Gumbo another Warriors great, began to implode in Week 25 when they lost to another Chunga-led side, Gunners, 2-1 at Lafarge Stadium.

On that fateful October afternoon, Mapeza, who was still in charge of the Warriors, was at the venue as Platinum took an early lead through Donald Ngoma.

The league debutants, who had greatly antagonised the established order by splashing their vast financial resources to acquire the best talent on the land, failed to protect that lead.

Gunners were able to equalise shortly before the break through Mitchell Katsvairo and went on to win the match through Cliff Sekete’s second half strike.

Gumbo was visibly shaken by the loss but rather than trying to attack the match officials, he decided to suffer in silence.

The now Chicken Inn coach stormed straight to the changing rooms and out of the stadium leaving his assistant Tendai Chikuni to conduct media duties.

That defeat to Gunners opened the door for DeMbare to move within three points of the platinum miners at that stage.

When the two teams met in the penultimate week of the season, Dynamos won 1-0 courtesy of an own goal by Daniel Vheremu to shoot to the top on goal difference.

This time around, defeat to another Chunga-led side has opened the door to two sides — CAPS and Highlanders.

Unfortunately for FC Platinum, they still have to face Bosso in Week 29 and are in danger of falling further from the title race.

Highlanders have been in irresistible form during this second half of the season. Erol Akbay’s side are currently on a six-match winning run.

It will be no surprise if they land the final knockout blow on the platinum miners’ title hopes.

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