FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)2
Hwange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
FC Platinum trudged forward in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League race when they completed a double over Hwange at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
In the reverse fixture, Platinum won 1-0 at the Colliery.
Winger Charles Sibanda returned to haunt Hwange again with a 48th minute opener before substitute Thabani Kamusoko sealed victory barely a minute after coming in in the 87th minute. Sibanda scored two goals against Hwange last season when he was at Motor Action.
FC Platinum have reopened a five-point gap with 39 points while second-placed Motor Action will only be in action on Wednesday against Kiglon, where they hope to close that gap back to two points. The defending champions were inactive as they were involved in the BancABC Sup8r semi-final where they knocked out Dynamos on Saturday.
An elated Rahman Gumbo, the Platinum coach, attributed victory to the changes he made at half-time.
“That was a classic performance by my guys especially in the second half. We changed to the 4-3-3 formation and that is when we became more effective after using the 3-5-2 in the first half. We are still taking each game as it comes and we hope to maintain our form,” said Gumbo.
His opposite number Tennant Chilumba said the loss was caused by a lapse in concentration.
“We lapsed a bit in the second half and that is when they scored. I think we played very well in the first half, but this is football, it happens,” he said.
After the first half proved to be a big yawn, the platinum miners proved to be a more rejuvenated side after the restart and got the goals they needed.
After managing to restrict the hosts to a goalless 45 minutes, Hwange capitulated soon after the restart with Sibanda scoring the opener.
The reigning footballer of the year was released by Joel Ngodzo to convert from close range after taking advantage of some slack marking from the Hwange defenders.
This further ignited the hosts’ play as the visitors survived numerous raids as Donald Ngoma’s introduction at half-time seemed to have changed the complexion of the game.
Barely a minute after coming in for Benjamin Marere, Kamusoko slashed home a Khumbulani Banda cross to deny Hwange any chance of snatching a late equaliser.