Pure Platinum Champions

GWERU - FC Platinum finally broke the jinx when they won their maiden Castle Lager Premiership title following an easy 2-0 victory over Chapungu here yesterday.

The platinum miners held off the challenge of Dynamos, who beat Chicken Inn 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium.

FC Platinum finished the season on 72 points after a grueling season while DeMbare closed their campaign on 70 points.

Since their promotion in 2011, the Zvishavane-based side have had several near misses but in 2017 there was no denying them the glory.

If Norman Mapeza’s side had any nerves going into this game, they settled quickly through two early goals from Rodwell Chinyengetere and Ali Sadiki in the first five minutes.

From there on it was an easy stroll in the park as Chapungu never really got in the game.

For Mapeza, it was a sweet victory as he became the first coach to win lead a team outside of Harare or Bulawayo to win the title since independence.

Norman Mapeza

Norman Mapeza - FC Plantinum coach

“We knew it was going to be difficult for us if they got a goal,” Mapeza said.

“After we got the early goal we started organizing the defence because we were worried that they could get a goal.

“There was a lot of pressure for us to win the  league. In 2015 we finished third and last year we finished second.

“This year we finished first and it shows that there was consistency and we were learning for from our past mistakes.”

Chinyengetere, who calmed the nerves with an early header in the first minute was also ecstatic.

“This makes me happy. I never imagined that I will win the title but here we are,” Chinyengetere said.

“We worked hard for this title starting form the first game although we had a few hiccups here and there, we stuck together as a team.

“Hard work gave us the victory today and the championship as we had to dig deep.”

Sadiki, who scored the second goal with an easy tap-in in the fifth minute was also jubilant.

“I’m happy we have won the title. It was a result of teamwork and not individual play,” Sadiki said.

“We have been working hard from the beginning until the last game now the season.

“There were times when it got hard as we lost some valuable points along the way but we kept on believing and following what the coaches have been telling us.”

Teams

Chapungu: Joseph Ferinando, Philip Marufu, Ricky Bota, Themba Ndlovu, Blessed Mbavarira, Moenda Muchangami, Lloyd Gwerina, Emmanuel Chitauro, Allen Tavarwisa, Osborne Mukuradare, Blessing Sahondo

FC Platinum: Wallace Magalane, Ian Nekati, Gift Bello, Kelvin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Nqobizitha Masuku, Gift Mbweti, Ali Sadiki, Mkhokheli Dube