Tigere inspires FC Platinum

Herentals.............(1) 1

FC Platinum.........(1) 2

HARARE – Never Tigere scored one and set up the winning goal for substitute Gift Mbweti as FC Platinum roared from behind to beat Castle Lager Premiership new boys Herentals on Saturday.

The home side scored in controversial circumstances through Juan Mutudza just before the half hour mark but Tigere levelled scores for Pure Platinum Play in the first minute of added time just before the break.

Tigere, who had an outstanding afternoon, then provided the final pass for Mbweti to score with just four minutes remaining on the clock.

Yesterday’s win means the defending champions keep up pressure on log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars, who thrashed Yadah FC 5-0 at Baobab Stadium.

FC Platinum remain in second place with 25 points and now trail Ngezi Platinum by just a single point after 10 matches.

Pure Platinum Play coach Norman Mapeza was pleased with the impressive showing from Tigere as it ensured his side returns to Zvishavane with all three points.

“There is still room for improvement; as a coach, I don’t only look at the goal he (Tigere) scored but at the overall contribution; what  he was doing in terms of defending and what was he doing going forward,” Mapeza said.

“He is doing well; last week he scored and today (yesterday), he scored again but like I said, there is still room for improvement but I expect such performances from everyone in the team and not Never alone.”

Herentals, who remain in 13th position with nine points, took the lead in the 29th minute after a collision between FC Platinum captain Gift Bello and his goalkeeper Francis Tizayi inside the box as they both tried to cut out Blessing Majarira’s cross.

Tizayi went lights out leaving his goal unattended while Bello was disoriented, however, Mutudza arrived first on the scene before rolling the ball into an empty net.

The visitors thought play was going to be stopped since Tizayi had suffered a head injury but the referee allowed the goal to stand.

“I thought the referee saw what happened and he should have at least stopped play but they managed to get a goal from that situation...,” Mapeza said.

“The referee should have done better because with the goalkeeper down, you are bound to concede.”

Tizayi suffered a concussion following the incident and had to be replaced by Petros Mhari.

The setback did not affect the visitors as they continued with their passing game and were rewarded just before halftime.

Edwin Madhanaga sent in a cross from the left which Tigere controlled with his chest before fending off the challenge from Brighton Majarira.

The former ZPC Kariba midfielder then produced a rising shot that went in past Herentals goalkeeper Frank Kuchineyi.

In the second period, FC Platinum increased their tempo in search of a winner while Herentals were now relying on counter attacks.

However, the winning goal for the visitors finally came in the 86th minute when Mbweti, who had replaced Ali Sadiki a minute earlier, met Tigere’s cut back from the right.

Mbweti controlled with his left foot before firing in a low shot with his right that crept in under Kuchineyi.

Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva praised his team for withstanding the onslaught from the defending champions before eventually crumbling.

“First of all I have to give the thumbs up to my boys for that performance against the champions. FC Platinum are an emerging force in Zim football but since my players are coming in from Division One, they put up a good fight,” he said.

Herentals: Frank Kuchineyi, Blessing Maunganidze, Carlos Mavhurume, Brighton Majarira, Wilmore Chimbetu, William Kapumha, Elton Dzirondiro (Gibson Chinobva (57m), Juan Mutudza, Richard Hachiro (Aaron Chiwandamidzi (75m), Blessing Majarira, Tinotenda Benza (Archmore Majarira 68m)

FC Platinum: Francis Tizayi (Petros Mhari 37m), Elvis Moyo, Gift Bello, Kelvin Moyo, James Mukombwe, Never Tigere, Winston Mhango, Edwin Madhanhanga, Rahman Kutsanzira, Ali Sadiki (Gift Mbweti 85m), Albert Eonde (Mkhokeli Dube 80m)

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