Norman Mapeza found his way past power-utility side, ZPC Kariba who have been struggling with form when his side beat Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa’s Kariba outfit 3-0 in a pulsating encounter at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum………. (3) 3
ZPC Kariba………… (0) 0
Having finished last season as runners up, an impressive win over Chidzambwa’s side with three games left presents Mapeza’s charges with another opportunity to grab the much-coveted crown.
Pure Platinum Play were determined to consolidate their pole position in this ding-dong title race and ending ZPC Kariba’s dominance after they beat the platinum miners in their fortress last year.
Mapeza’s charges proved their mettle in the first half, outclassing their opponents in the midfield where Nqobizitha Masuku and Winston Mhango were a thorn in the flesh for the visitors.
Mapeza praised his team for putting up a brilliant performance that earned them maximum points.
“The boys played well. The performance was brilliant and I am happy that we collected maximum points,” said Mapeza.
“We still have a chance and if we continue scoring like this, we can catch up with Ngezi Platinum who have a superior goal difference.”
Chidzambwa could not hide his disappointment after his charges failed to end their seven-match winless streak.
“We made blunders early in the first half and we were punished,” he said.
“I am very disappointed and I think we seriously need to improve because today’s performance leaves a lot to be desired. Our opponents played much better than us. To me, it seemed the boys were not in the mood to play at all and we lost.”
Charles Sibanda’s brace and a goal from Mkhokheli Dube ensured FC Platinum bagged maximum points, as they seek to clinch a maiden Premier Soccer League crown.
Sibanda opened the score sheet on the sixth minute when he comfortably tapped in a pass from Rodwell Chinyengetere who had outpaced the opposition defenders.
Veteran striker Dube then doubled the scoreline for Mapeza’s men when he headed home a curling corner kick taken by Winston Mhango.
Sibanda completed his brace with a well-taken free kick just outside the box, which left ZPC goal minder Tendai Hove rooted at one spot.
There appeared to be lack of communication between the ZPC Kariba rearguard, which Pure Platinum Play capitalised on. Kelvin Moyo almost added another goal for the platinum miners, but his header was cleared off the line by Limited Chikafa.
ZPC had their chances but their strikers Chikafa and Francisco Zekumbawire failed to beat FC Platinum goal-minder Wallace Magalane.
FC Platinum: W Magalane, I Nekati, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, W Mhango, R Chinyengetere (R Muduviwa 72’), N Masuku ( B Muzondiwa 88’), A Sadiki, C Sibanda ( G Takwara 78’), M Dube
ZPC Kariba: T Hove, B Zuberi, M Kunyarimwe, A Chiveya, S Appiah, T Munyanduri, D Chakupe ( Chakupe 58’), T Chamboko ( L Fiyado 86’) , N Tigere, R Manuvire, L Chikafa (Blessing Nyamuzihwa 86’)
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matchday 31 fixtures and results:
Today: Bantu Rovers v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Luveve, 3pm), Hwange v Highlanders (Barbourfields, 3pm), Triangle United v Harare City (Gibbo, 3pm), Dynamos v Chapungu (National Sports Stadium, 3pm)
Yesterday: FC Platinum 3-0 ZPC Kariba, Black Rhinos 1-1 Shabanie Mine, Yadah 2 -0 Bulawayo City.
Friday: How Mine 0-1 CAPS United, Chicken Inn 1-0 Tsholotsho.