Mapeza remains optimistic

HARARE - “IT was just a slight hiccup!” That’s how FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza viewed their first Castle Lager Premiership defeat of the season at the hands of Ngezi Platinum Stars on Saturday.

Ngezi Platinum Stars gaffer Tonderai Ndiraya’s charges got their goals through Donald Teguru and Tatenda Mchisa while former Dynamos midfielder Brett Amidu was on target for FC Platinum but it was not enough to at least earn them something out of the game.

The result ended a run of 14 matches without defeat for the platinum miners, to leave them sixth on the log table with 26 points from 15 matches having managed six wins, eight draws and a single defeat leaving them five points behind log leaders Ngezi.

Mapeza was, however, not overly perturbed by the defeat and hopes his side can start picking up positive results as the season progresses.

“I am not worried because I have full confidence in the abilities of my players. I believe we played a good game, but we just lost concentration at some crucial stages of the game which is something that we can correct going forward,” Mapeza said to the Daily News.

“But yeah, we are still in the mix. There is no much difference at this stage of the season. We just need to keep working hard, better results will come definitely. We need to keep believing.”

FC Platinum have not been convincing this season as they struggle for consistency. Last season they launched a serious title challenge but lost it on the final day to eventual winners CAPS United.

The platinum miners’ biggest let down has been upfront where their strikers have struggled to hit the back of the net regularly. Mapeza’s frontline has so far managed to score 13 goals while conceding seven times.

Matters have also been made worse by the absence of marauding winger Talent Chawapihwa, who is away on national duty in South Africa for the Warriors’ Cosafa Castle Cup. In trying to arrest the anomaly, Mapeza has signed former Dynamos striker Takesure Chinyama.

Chinyama is, however, yet to make his debut as he is still not yet match-fit.

“I think scoring is an area we need to address and we shall work hard on that. All other aspects of the game are much improved. We hold possession well, pass well but when it comes to the final killer instinct, we fall short,” Mapeza said.

With FC Platinum tasting their first defeat of the season, for Ngezi Platinum Stars the victory was a huge sigh of relief for Ndiraya having gone for four matches without a win.

The Mhondoro side regained their place at the top of the table having been dislodged by resurgent Dynamos, who picked their sixth straight win after a 2-1 win over Bantu Rovers Friday evening. Ngezi are now leading the title race with 31 points while DeMbare are second with 29 points.

In fact, Lloyd Mutasa’s charges could have been on top of the table had it not for their halted match against Chapunga two weeks ago which was stopped in the 56th minute while leading 0 - 4 following the collapse of a goalpost.

Dembare remains favourites to get maximum points from that particular tie after the Premier Soccer League’s Disciplinary Committee summoned Chapungu to a hearing for failure to provide an alternative replacement goalpost.

Meanwhile, Dynamos president Kenni Mubaiwa revealed to the Daily News that they have since agreed on a contract extension with midfielder Denver Mukamba.

Mukamba’s one year contract with the Glamour Boys had expired at the end of last month to trigger speculation that the player could be on his way out.

“We had finalised on his contract extension way before that match on Friday. He remains our player and you will see him in action at the weekend,” Mubaiwa said.

“It’s only that football issues always find a way into the press but otherwise this is not something peculiar to Dynamos alone. You find at several companies people are not getting their salaries but they still report for work every day but you will not see it anywhere in the press.

“But just because we are Dynamos, the biggest team in the country, people will always say a lot of things some of which not true.

“But just to put the record straight, Denver is our player and he signed a three-year extension. He is an important player for us and there is no way we would let him go just like that.”

Mubaiwa added that the team is actually waiting for coach Mutasa to return from South Africa for them to add few signings during this mid-season transfer window.

“We are now waiting for our coach from South Africa then maybe we can sign some new players on this transfer period. Otherwise for now we are just focusing on doing well in the league,” said Mubaiwa.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.