FC Platinum on the cusp

FC Platinum...(0) 2
Chicken Inn...0

HARARE - FC Platinum now just need a single point in their remaining three leagues games to clinch a second consecutive Castle Lager Premiership title following yesterday’s win over Chicken In  at Mandava Stadium.

Second half goals from Edwin Madanhanga and the league’s top scorer Rodwell Chinyengetere ensured Norman Mapeza’s side moved to 71 points.

Second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars slipped further behind following a 2-2 draw with Harare City at Rufaro Stadium which left them with 62 points.

Ngezi Platinum are now nine points behind the Zvishavane-based side and would need nothing short of a miracle to pip FC Platinum.

That would need the high-riding defending league champions to lose all their remaining matches.

After a difficult first half against third-placed Chicken Inn yesterday, FC Platinum finally opened the scoring in the 59th minute through Madanhanga.

They increased their lead six minutes later when Simon Munawa handled inside the box.

Reigning Soccer Star of the Year, Chinyengetere took the responsibility from 12 yards and scored his 17th strike of the season to seal the crucial three points for the home side, that placed them on the verge of league glory. 

“In the first half we had a few decent opportunities and we had a bit of pressure. After that, I talked to the boys because there was no need for us to put ourselves under pressure,” Mapeza said after the game.

“There was need to be calm and play our normal football and to get that first goal. I’m glad we managed to get that first goal from Edwin. From there on, it was us just putting everything into the game.

Although his side only needs a single point in the remaining three matches against Shabanie Mine, Ngezi Platinum and Highlanders, Mapeza is not getting carried away yet.

He wants his side to remain focused on the job at hand before they pop the champagne bottles.

“I can only talk of winning the championship after we have played our last match of the season; we have three more games to go,” he said.

“Now it’s 997 kilometres gone and we still have three kilometres to reach a 1 000 kilometres. We just have to keep on winning our games.”

Gamecocks coach Joey Antipas admitted his side had been outclassed by the defending champions.

“FC Platinum deserved it; they were the better side and once again, we didn’t play our normal game,” Antipas said.

“We played in patches, here and there but all the best to FC Platinum; they definitely dominated us, we played second fiddle. They (FC Platinum) deserve to be champions, we still have a lot of work to do. We have got to bring in more players to compete.”

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a - 26 October 2018

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