Never Tigere sinks Ngezi Platinum

Ngezi Platinum..............(1) 1

FC Platinum...................(0) 2

MHONDORO - If FC Platinum are to retain their Castle Lager Premiership title, then that will largely be down to the impact Never Tigere is making from the substitutes’ bench.

On Saturday, Tigere rose from the bench to inspire the defending champions to a memorable victory over Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Tigere scored a winning goal from a wonderful free kick four minutes into added time that ended Ngezi’s unbeaten home run that had stretched from August 2016.

The home side had taken the lead in the first half in controversial circumstances when Donald Teguru chipped over FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari in the 41st minute.

However, Tigere replaced Mkhokheli Dube in the 60th minute and began dictating play in central midfield as the visitors took control of the game.

Winston Mhango equalised for Pure Platinum Play two minutes before full-time from the penalty spot after Keith Murera needlessly fouled Rodwell Chinyengetere inside the box.

Ngezi captain Liberty Chakoroma then conceded another needless foul near the near touchline in his own half in the 94th minute.

Tigere then produced a moment of magic from the dead ball with his effort sailing over Ngezi goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi.

The goal ensured FC Platinum shot to the top of the table with 41 points while Madamburo dropped to second with 38 points after 16 games.

Pure Platinum Play coach Norman Mapeza was pleased with how his side came from behind to win yesterday’s game.

“After conceding the goal, I could tell that our players were a bit dejected but I had to talk to them. We could not change the decision of the referee,” Mapeza said.

“At halftime, I told them to keep on pushing and continue to play like what they did in the last 20 minutes of the first half and look what happened in the last minutes.”

On taking pole position on the log, Mapeza said: “There are still 18 games to be played; we just have to return to Zvishavane and remain humble. We need to keep on working hard and concentrate on our game against Highlanders and after that we give the guys a break.”

Ngezi coach Tonderai Ndiraya said: “Very disappointing result but due to cases of concentration, we conceded what was a silly penalty; you don’t do that inside the box.

“Then of course the freak goal; it happens in football but I thought our boy Munditi was not alert and he did not anticipate such a shot.” 

The home side took the lead in controversial circumstances four minutes before halftime when Teguru raced clear to meet a Walter Mukanga long ball behind the FC Platinum defence.

Teguru seemed to be in an offside position when he met Mukanga’s pass but there was no flag from the far side assistant. The Ngezi winger chipped over the visitors’ goalkeeper Mhari.

There were massive protests from the FC Platinum players after the decision by referee Norman Matemera to allow the goal to stand.

A four-minute stoppage followed as the FC Platinum players disagreed with the decision. In the end, Mapeza had to get onto the pitch to calm his players down.

However, Gift Bello and Mhango were booked for the protests.

The FC Platinum players felt hard done by the officiating because earlier in the half, Matemera had waved play-on after Kelvin Bulaji appeared to bring down Rahman Kutsanzira inside the box.

A questionable offside decision was also given against the visitors when Chinyengetere had raced clear on goal.

In the second half, the game was totally turned on its head with the introduction of Tigere.

Teams:

Ngezi Platinum: Tatenda Munditi, Frank Makarati, Liberty Chakoroma, Kelvin Bulaji, Keith Murera, Tichaona Chipunza, Malon Mushonga, Walter Mukanga, Donald Teguru (Michael Charamba 68m), Godknows Murwira, James Nguluve

FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, Gift Bello, William Stima, Raphael Muduviwa, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango, Farai Madhanhanga, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Ali Sadiki, Rahman kutsanzira (Gift Mbweti 78m), Mkhokheli Dube (Never Tigere 60m)