Rhinos derail FC Platinum

Black Rhinos...............(1) 1
FC Platinum................(0) 1

HARARE - FC Platinum's title defence suffered a slight glitch yesterday when the Castle Lager Premiership log leaders needed a late equaliser to rescue a point against Black Rhinos.

The home side had taken the lead seven minutes before the break after Allan Gahadzikwa headed home a cross delivered from the right by Tafadzwa Jaravani.

Pure Platinum Play needed to dig deep in the second period before they eventually found the equaliser after Rodwell Chinyengetere headed in a cross from substitute Never Tigere 12 minutes from full time.

Yesterday’s draw means FC Platinum’s lead at the top of the table was reduced to two points following second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars slender 1-0 win over ZPC Kariba at Baobab Stadium.

Mapeza’s men are now on 59 points from 26 games while Ngezi Platinum moved to 57 points from the same number of matches.

Despite dropping two points on the road, Mapeza believes it was a valuable draw considering his side was trailing for most parts of the match.       

“I think it was a good game of football. We came here looking for maximum points but it didn’t happen.

“I’m happy with the point coming from a goal down in the first half,” Mapeza said after the match.

“We really pushed but it wasn’t easy for us. At the end of the day, I cannot complain because it’s a point gained.

“At the break, I told the boys to push hard. We had to look for an early equaliser and a winning goal but it didn’t happen.

“It’s a game of football and we have to accept today’s result and keep working hard and see how the season progresses.”

After taking the lead, Rhinos surprisingly began to sit deep in their own half especially at the start of the second period.

It was all FC Platinum throughout with the home side only attacking on the break where they looked dangerous.   

“In the second half, you saw what happened, we were just attacking and attacking while they were waiting for the counter attack but I think our creativity in the final third was not that good,” Mapeza bemoaned.

“That was our biggest let down and if we had enough creativity in the final third, we could have won the game.

“But like I said before, I cannot complain about the point we picked up today after coming from 1-0 down in the first half.

“Getting a point away from home is a massive step for us.”

With the draw, Rhinos dropped to ninth on the log with 34 points from 25 matches.

The home side’s coach Herbert Maruwa said: “It was a good show from the boys but unfortunately we failed to defend in the second but as a coach I’m satisfied with the result.

“With the chances we crated, we could have killed off the game in the first half; we created at least two good clear chances but it’s part and parcel of the game.

“After taking the lead, our game plan was to score on the break but we failed to punish them; FC Platinum were more hungry than us in the second half though”.       

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