FC Platinum stumble

Harare City...................(0) 1
FC Platinum........................0

HARARE - FC Platinum saw their lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership cut to a single point when they lost to Harare City yesterday.

Norman Mapeza’s men came into this match four points ahead of second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars.

However, City, who had not won in the second half of the season, scored the only goal of the game through Moses Muchenje’s second half penalty.

Pure Platinum Play remain in first place on the log with 52 points but crucially, Ngezi Platinum, who beat Shabanie Mine 5-1 yesterday, are now on 51 points.

Mapeza was disappointed with the result but remained hopeful that his side can defend their title.

“We are still on top of the log. If we continue winning our remaining games then we will win the league courtesy of that one point,” he said.

On the defeat, Mapeza blamed poor decision making from his rear guard and goalkeeper Wallace Magalane for conceding the penalty kick.

City coach Mark Harrison welcomed the result after four draws and one defeat in their last five matches.

“The win is important not because it was against FC Platinum but we had gone for five games without a win,” he said.

“The last week we have been working hard and today, we deserved to win it and answered the questions we had.

“They didn’t create anything much and I think it was a definite penalty.” 

The Sunshine Boys took the lead three minutes into the second half when Pure Platinum Play keeper Magalane brought down Martin Vengesai inside the box.

It was a rush and unnecessary challenge from Magalane since Vengesai was heading away from goal.

Muchenje is reliable from 12 yards out and sent Magalane the wrong way to give the home side the lead.

Shortly after going behind, Mapeza made two substitutions in quick succession.

First, midfielder Never Tigere, who has proven to be the platinum miners’ impact player, came in for forward Albert Eonde.

Striker Farai Mupasiri replaced midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe.

From there on, FC Platinum started to attack the home side with everything they had.

The visitors’ best chance to equalise, however, fell on centre back and captain Gift Bello just after the hour mark.

Bello was left unmarked inside the box but surprisingly headed over a free kick taken by Tigere.

Farai Madhanaga should have restored parity but headed wide a cross from Raphael Muduviwa late on.

If Madhanaga’s header had gone in, it would have been a controversial moment.

Muchenje went down in his own half after an apparent elbow from Winston Mhango.

At that point, the home side had possession and did not stop to allow their medical personnel to attend to their teammate.

When FC Platinum won possession, they went up the other end where Madhanaga ended up heading wide.

In the end, FC Platinum could not find a way through the City defence.


Teams:

Harare City: Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Hastings Chapusha, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye, Bright Chayambuka, Moses Muchenje, Tellmore Pio (Tendai Samanja 71m),  Learnmore Muyambo, Ishamel Wadi, Wilfred Muvirimi (Kuda Musharu 83m), Martin Vengesai (Denzel Chimwemwe 63m)

FC Platinum: Wallace Magalane, Raphael Muduviwa (Thomas Chideu 88m), Gift Bello, Kevin Moyo, William Stima, Winston Mhango, Kelvin Madzongwe (Farai Mupasiri 65m), Rodwell Chinyengetere, Farai Madhanaga, Albert Eonde (Never Tigere 60m), Gift Mbweti

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