FC Platinum storm into Chibuku final

ZVISHAVANE - FC Platinum produced a clinical display to dump defending champions Harare City out of the Chibuku Super Cup and keep their hopes for a league and cup double alive in an incident-filled encounter here yesterday.

Rodwell Chinyengetere, Charles Sibanda and Marshal Mudehwe scored for the platinum miners to ensure a comfortable passage into the final in a game that saw five match balls being deflated by rowdy FC Platinum supporters inside the first 30 minutes.

Every ball that flew over to the stands was punctured as the fans were suspicious of the Harare City match balls.

Harare City provided the balls as it was technically the home team according to the tournament’s draw.

FC Platinum will now face the winner between Highlanders and Ngezi Platinum Stars who clash this afternoon in another semifinal tie at Barbourfields Stadium.

It was, however, sweet revenge for FC Platinum having lost 2-1 to the Sunshine Boys two weeks ago in a league encounter — a result that dented their title hopes.

FC Platinum, who are third on the Castle Premiership log standings, as they trail log CAPS United by two points, are now fancying their chances of a league and cup double and their coach Norman Mapeza was elated with the win.

“I’m happy the guys did well today. The most important thing is for us to remain focused, we still have a lot of games to play,” Mapeza said.

“Credit should also go to Harare City, they gave us a good game,” Mapeza said in spite of his side having dominated play from the first whistle.

Harare City coach Moses Chunga was disappointed with the result and refused to grant a post-match interview to the media.

Although FC Platinum fans demanded Mapeza’s head for having substituted speedy striker Mudehwe in their drub premiership one-all stalemate with Ngezi Platinum last weekend, the striker gave a stellar performance capping a wonderful afternoon with an 81st minute goal off an individual solo effort.

Fans also showed their appreciation with chants of Mapeza’s name ringing round the stands after Mudehwe’s goal.

Mudehwe flew down the right wing leaving Harare City defenders in his trail before slotting past a badly exposed Tafadzwa Dube.

The platinum miners had opened the scoring in the 33rd minute after Chinyengetere produced a brilliant goal by curling past a scrambling Dube in a congested box.

Second half substitute Sibanda then put the game beyond City in the 77th minute when he chipped over a drawn-out Dube, in a quick counter attack before Mudehwe capped up a fine afternoon with a third goal.

FC Platinum had settled first but the municipal side had their fair share of chances to score but their forwards took turns to fluff the chances that came their way with Raphel Manuvire being the chief culprit.

FC Platinum, however, dominated play with five corner kicks against one for Harare City in the first period.

Harare City began the match with greater intent but fluffed their lines in a congested defence in the opening minute of the half.

Soon after Ian Nekati forced an acrobatic save from Dube with a stinging close range shot from an angle that the shot-stopper tipped over.

Their best chance of the afternoon, however, came in the 68th minute when William Manondo’s effort glazed the crossbar on its way out.

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