Monomotapa . . . . . . . . . . .0
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . (0) 2
FC Platinum made a giant step towards a maiden Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title in their first season with a hard- fought win over a wasteful Monomotapa at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday.
Midfielder-cum-striker Benjamin Marere rose from the bench midway through the second half to create a penalty that was coolly converted by regular penalty taker Menard Mupera in the 74th minute, before the former Dynamos player blasted past Monoz goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo four minutes later.
The win saw the cash-rich club maintaining top position on the log with 55 points, three above second-placed Dynamos who beat Motor Action in another league match played at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
The top two teams will clash at Mandava on Sunday in a match that could determine the winner of the league. A win for Platinum will see them reaching an unassailable 58 points and crowned champions.
As for Dynamos, the worst result they can get from Mandava is a draw.
A win will see them topping the log, ahead of the final round of fixtures where they will meet the already relegated Kiglon while FC Platinum meet relegation-threatened Shooting Stars.
Platinum assistant coach Tendai Chikuni is well aware of the significance of yesterday’s win.
“If we win against Dynamos on Sunday, we will be champions. We will definitely want to win the championship on home soil. It won’t be easy.
We lost against them in Bulawayo last Sunday, but in Mandava I’m confident we will win,” said Chikuni.
It was a sorry sight for the Monomotapa technical team as they remained rooted on their bench at the final whistle, probably pondering what could have gone wrong.
“We have ourselves to blame for this defeat today,” a dejected Monoz coach Taurai Mangwiro managed to stutter. “The result typifies our season. It has been like that throughout.
“We create chances, but fail to convert them into goals. We now have to win our remaining two matches to be safe. I didn’t want it to go this way. It’s so sad,” Mangwiro added.
Monoz had the lion’s share of possession and could have killed the match as a contest in the first half. Joseph Mutambiranwa had a chance to put his team as early as the first minute, but he decided to go for an audacious chip when he raced though and the effort flew over.