We are too nice — Mapeza

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has castigated his players for failing to kill off opposition as the Castle Lager Premiership title race enters the final stretch.

Mapeza was left disappointed after watching his side lose ground on the leading pack when they were held to a goalless draw by relegation-threatened Yadah FC at Rufaro Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The draw left the Zvishavane-based side in third place on the log with 52 points.

The platinum miners were totally in control of the game in the first half as they enjoyed close to 70 percent ball possession but rarely threatened Samuel Mafukidze’s goal.

FC Platinum even won 12 corners in that opening half but failed to utilise the set pieces as they were beaten in the air by Yadah.

Playmaker Ali Sadiki also sent in over a dozen successful crosses into the Yadah box but not a single teammate was able to get onto the end of his wonderful deliveries.

Scoring has been a major problem for Mapeza’s side this season which could turn out to be their Achilles heel in this title race.

Attacking midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere is Pure Platinum Play’s leading scorer with only five goals after 26 matches.

Holding midfielder Winston Mhango is next on the list with four strikes from penalties.

In total, FC Platinum scored 27 goals in 26 matches at an average of 1,04 goals per game which is not the kind of return to expect from a title-chasing team.

Log leaders Dynamos have plundered in 43 goals from 25 matches while second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars have found the back of the net 46 times from 26 matches.

Confronted with such kind of statistics, Mapeza has called on his players to be more ruthless in front of goal.             

“If you were in Zvishavane last week against Chapungu; it was the same story. We are doing everything but we are failing to score,” Mapeza said after the draw with Yadah.

“When I was growing up, we used to talk about being a MacGyver if you want to succeed in football. If you are not a MacGyver, it will be difficult.

“You have to be like a thief in a game of football. Sometimes we are too nice and you need to be ruthless.

“We are getting the chances but we keep on missing these glorious chances and it becomes difficult for me as a coach and my technical team.

“At least we need to know where to start working on at training but if we continue like this, it becomes difficult.”

The platinum miners face a rejuvenated CAPS United tomorrow at home at Mandava Stadium hoping to get back to winning ways.

However, Mapeza is fully aware that the defending champions will not be pushovers.

Makepekepe have only lost once in their last 13 games in all competitions during a spell they have beaten all the title aspirants.

In the reverse at Rufaro Stadium last month, CAPS beat Mapeza’s side 2-1.  

“All these remaining eight games are going to be difficult for us, we just need to go back to training and talk to the guys,” he said.

“Today, we were putting 100 percent effort but come Saturday against CAPS United I’m going to demand 1 000 percent effort. It’s not an easy game at all.”          

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