FC Platinum lift Castle Challenge Cup

FC Platinum............... (1) 2
Triangle United................0

HARARE - Reigning Castle Lager Premiership champions FC Platinum capped off a fine 2018 campaign by retaining the Castle Challenge Cup with a victory over Triangle United here yesterday.

Gift Mbweti and Thomas Chideu were on target to ensure the champions completed a double for a second year running.

FC Platinum were also the winners of the same competition last year after dismissing Harare City in the final.

The home side when into yesterday’s encounter with one eye on Wednesday’s return leg in the African Champions League preliminary round against CNaPS Sports of Madagascar.

With the first leg in Antananarivo having finished 1-1 last week, Norman Mapeza fielded a relatively weaker starting XI but his second string side still proved too powerful for Triangle.

“I’m happy for the boys. They worked really hard and deserved to win. I was only worried about fatigue but otherwise I’m happy,” Mapeza said after the match.

“We still need to work hard because there is still a lot of football to be played. We just need to stay focussed and continue working.”

Mapeza’s counterpart Taurai Mangwiro felt poor finishing was their biggest let down yesterday.

“I would like to congratulate FC Platinum for winning today. I think the difference today lays in conversion. We had three good chances, one to (Collins) Dhuwa and twice hit the post,” he said.

“But all in all, I’m happy with my team, I have seen a lot of improvement; winning the Chibuku Super Cup and finishing fourth, I think we did well.”

Triangle started on the front foot camping in the home team’s half and on six minutes Dhuwa directed a perfect Russel Madamombe cross way off target.

It was FC Platinum, though, who went on to find the opener through Mbweti, who flicked a beautiful free kick by William Stima on eight minutes, after speedy winger Marshal Mudehwe had been brought down.

After the goal, FC Platinum went on to dominate the proceedings and on 15 minutes Chideu came close to doubling their lead only to be denied by Triangle goalkeeper Tapiwa Chilenga at the near post.

The visitors would soon regroup and seize the initiative especially in midfield and on 20 minutes Donald Dzvinyai was denied by the upright after the home side had failed to decisively clear a Madamombe free kick from the edge of the box.

At the other end, Mudehwe could have done better on 27 minutes after he found himself face to face with Chilenga only to direct his effort to the terraces.

Pure Platinum Play were almost made to pay for the miss on 36 minutes when Ralph Kawondera forced a good save from Francis Tizayi following a powerful shot from outside the box.

FC Platinum, though, doubled their lead four minutes from the break when Chideu scored with a beautiful finish into the far corner having outpaced his markers.
Mangwiro tried to salvage the game by bringing in Pasca Manhanga and Lameck Nhamo, who had started on the bench.

And they almost pulled one back on 65 minutes only for Madamombe to be denied by the cross bar from a powerful shot outside the box.


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