Mapeza demands perfection

HARARE - Those who watched FC Platinum outclass Harare giants Dynamos on Sunday were left convinced that the reigning champions could be well on course to defend their Castle Lager Premiership title.

The platinum miners put up a flawless show en-route to a deserved 0-2 victory at Rufaro Stadium courtesy of a well-taken first half brace by reigning Soccer Star of the Year, Rodwell Chinyengetere.

After the match, even the hard-to-please DeMbare fans gave the Zvishavane-based side a rare standing ovation.

Pure Platinum Play had been in total control of that match from start to finish as DeMbare never had a sniff at Petros Mhari’s goal throughout the 90 minutes. Sunday’s win ensured FC platinum remained in second place on the log with 29 points and trail leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars by three after 12 matches.

Opinion appeared to have already favoured Ngezi Platinum Stars to win this year’s championship as they are yet to taste defeat but on Sunday, Pure Platinum Play showed the rest of the league they will not let go of their title without a fight.

Despite that polished performance on the afternoon that won them many more neutrals, Mapeza feels his side is still to hit top gear this season.

“I think we didn’t manage the game well. There were times when we gave them too much room and I think we need to go back and address those issues. We should be able to turn our dominance into more goals,” Mapeza lamented his failure to convert the numerous chances they created.

The reigning Coach of the Year was also full praise for Chinyengetere following the brace and wants to see other players contribute as well.

“Fantastic goals, even last season he was scoring goals for us. But my wish is for everybody to contribute something at the end of the day.

“Not only Rodwell, not only Mkhokheli but I want everybody to contribute and we will keep working hard and I think in the next games, we will rectify our problems then we will see how the season progresses.”

Mapeza also paid tribute to the DeMbare fans for their acknowledgement of the good football displayed by the platinum miners.

“I think it’s always great when people appreciate the good work you are doing. I think the supporters at the end of the day appreciated the way we were playing,” he said.

“That’s what we want in our football not only for me but everybody. People come to watch good football and it’s good when they appreciate.”

On what is shaping up to be a two-horse title race between his side and Ngezi Platinum, Mapeza feels it’s still early days and wants his charges to continue working hard as the season hurtles towards the halfway mark.

“I cannot talk of winning the league now. We still have so many games to go. There are still a lot of matches to play and I can’t talk of the title now. All the clubs in the league are a threat to us. I give respect to all the clubs in the league, there is no club I would say is a walkover. I give respect to each and every coach in the league. So I take each game at a time.”

Pure Platinum Play have a chance to maintain the pressure on Ngezi Platinum when they host top flight new boys Nichrut at Mandava Stadium tomorrow.

Fixtures:

Tomorrow: CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (NSS), Chapungu v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Ascot), Harare City v Shabanie Mine (Rufaro), Bulawayo Chiefs v Chicken Inn (Luveve)

Thursday: Herentals v Triangle United (NSS, 1pm), Yadah FC v Mutare City (NSS, 3pm), Bulawayo City v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Black Rhinos v Dynamos (Rufaro), FC Platinum v Nichrut (Mandava)

Saturday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Harare City (Baobab),

Sunday: Mutare City Rovers v Triangle United (Vengere), Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Nichrut v Black Rhinos (Ascot), Shabanie Mine v Bulawayo Chiefs (Maglas), Highlanders v Chapungu (Barbourfields), ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City (Nyamhunga), Yadah v CAPS United (NSS), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve).

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