FC Platinum blow chance

HARARE - With their title rivals only playing this afternoon, FC Platinum blew a golden chance to open a four-point lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership table after they were held to a disappointing draw by fighting Harare City here yesterday.

The platinum miners had appeared on course to collect maximum points after a blistering start in which they kept the home side on the back foot for almost the entire first half only to stutter in front of goal where their strikers took turns to miss.

Norman Mapeza’s charges were made to regret several missed chances as the Sunshine Boys regrouped and came back a more determined side in the second half as they went on to cause all sorts of problems for the visitors.

In fact FC Platinum should consider themselves lucky after City strikers wasted some glorious scoring opportunities in the second half with Malvin Gaki, Martin Vengesai and Protasho Kabwe being the main culprits.

With yesterday’s result, FC Platinum remain top of the log and are now two points ahead of second-placed Dynamos with 60 points at least for now as the Glamour Boys face Ngezi Platinum Stars in another potentially exciting match at Baobab Stadium this afternoon.

Mapeza felt yesterday’s point is vital in their push for the maiden title.

“I think it was a good game of football. First half we had control of everything and had some good opportunities to get that goal but it didn’t happen,” Mapeza said after the match.

“Second half Harare City had their moments as well and some good opportunities I think twice. But we are not going to lose focus because we drew today; we need to keep on working hard. We are still okay there are still four matches to go and anything can happen.

“We have to keep believing. For us it’s a point gained because we could have lost. I have to be honest we could have lost because they had some good opportunities. So if I am going to moan about this point I think I will not be truthful to myself.”

Harare City coach Philani Ncube, whose side is also still not safe from relegation felt a draw was a fair result.

“There were all over us in the first 45 minutes. It was not a pleasant situation but we did plan and we knew they would come at us and we needed to repel them,” Ncube said.

“We were unlucky we could have scored a goal or so but we were also lucky at the same time because their effort came against the post. As far as where we are on the log table we are not satisfied with the point but there is little we can do and we will have to look to our next matches.

“At the end of the day, I think a point is better than nothing. I think credit should go to the boys for the fighting spirit. They were facing seasoned campaigners and stood their own. I think we now need to get at least five points in our next matches and we are safe.”

Harare City were lucky to survive an early onslaught by the platinum miners which could have yielded at least a goal. FC Platinum could have taken the lead as early as the first minute after City goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi’s intended clearance fell kindly on Charles Sibanda just outsie the box.

Munditi, however, recovered and was able to push Sibanda’s effort out for to find the net.

The introduction of Wilfred Muvirimi for City at the start of the second half saw City taking the game from FC Platinum only to be let down by poor finishing. Gaki squandered probably the best chance of the game after coming in front of goal on 69 minutes only to shoot at defender Gift Bello.

Vengesai could have also done better moments later after being put through by Tendai Samanja but he shot straight at FC Platinum goalkeeper Wallace Magalane. FC Platinum thought they had finally got the winner three minutes from time only for Kelvin Moyo’s header to crash against the upright. In the end both teams had a share of spoils.


Harare City: Tatenda Munditi, Tendai Samanja, Jimmy Tigere, Martin Vengesai, Hastings Chapusha, Raymond Uchena, Edwin Madhanhanga, Peace Tshuma, Malvin Gaki (Learnmore Muyambo 81min), Jerry Chipangura (Wilfred Muvirimi 46min), Protasho Kabwe

FC Platinum: Wallace Magalane, Gift Bello, Ian Nekati, Kelvin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Bret Amidu (Gerald Takwara 62min), Hillary Bakacheza (Ali Sadiki 43min), Charles Sibanda (Hamadzashe Moyo 75min), Mkhokheli Dube


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