FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . 0
Harare City . . . . . . . . .(1) 1
FC Platinum were left wondering whether their home ground was cursed after crashing to their third consecutive home defeat following a 1-0 loss to Harare City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Report by Ephraim Shoko Sports Correspondent
Crybert Muvuti’s 27th minute strike was enough to sink the platinum miners and give Harare City valuable away points.
Platinum coach Tendai Chikuni conceded that he had lost to a more organised side, but rued the numerous chances that his strikers failed to convert.
“They deserved to win. We tried everything that we could, but I guess it was not our day as Harare City were more organised than us,” he said.
City coach Bigboy Mawiwi applauded his lads for putting up a spirited performance against a team that had beaten them twice before.
“Confidence was very high in the team and I am pleased with the performance. Our strategy was to attack and keep possession and the boys stuck to that strategy which gave us the result,” Mawiwi said after the match.
The match started on a very low note with both teams struggling for rhythm in the opening stages. Harare City, however, got the match alive in the 27th minute when Muvuti struck from inside the box to open the scoring.
Muvuti received the ball from a throw-in, controlled well before releasing a low shot that beat Platinum goalkeeper Francis Tizayi who had dived full stretch in a bid to stop the ball.
Platinum tried to come back into the game, but found the Harare City defence, led by Witness Nyamutsaka, resolute.
The Zvishavane side could have grabbed an equaliser in the 36th minute when Mitchelle Katsvairo beat Nyamutsaka in the box, but he sent a weak cross to Donald Ngoma, who was quickly closed in by the City defenders before he could shoot.
In the second half, Chikuni made three substitutions bringing in Joel Ngodzo for Ngoma in the 50th minute, Allen Gahadzikwa for Rafael Muduviwa while William Manondo was pulled out for Charles Sibanda.
The changes brought urgency into the team as they moved into the attack mode, but could not convert. Benjamin Marere had a chance to draw level, but shot over with goalkeeper Maxi Nyamupanedengu at his mercy after Ali Sadiki had sent in an inviting cross. Sadiki also came close to equalising in the 82nd minute from a free kick from the edge of the box, but the goalkeeper made a brilliant save to ensure City got maximum points.
About 100km away from Zvishavane, Hardbody produced one of their best results of the season after beating Motor Action 2-0 at Ascot Stadium in Gweru to give the relegation dogfight another twist. Malvern Nyakabangwe and Piniel Manhope hit the goals in the 11th and 37th minute respectively.
With the win, Hardbody moved into 13th place with 22 points, one ahead of Blue Rangers, who beat Gunners 3-2 on Saturday. Rangers are 14th with 21 points and Gunners 15th with 19 points. Hardbody are in Bulawayo for Chicken Inn next weekend, Rangers take on Harare City while Gunners are at home to basement side Quelaton.