Shabanie Mine . . . . . . . . .(0) 1
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Report by Ephraim Shoko
SHABANIE Mine coach Luke “Vahombe” Masomere marked his return from suspension with a bang, inspiring his charges to their first win of the season and their first over FC Platinum in a pulsating Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match played at Maglas Stadium yesterday.
The asbestos miners went into the match searching for their first set of maximum points this season after losing three of their opening matches and drawing one.
A late strike at the death of the match in optional time by second-half substitute Farai Mususunye settled matters as Platinum suffered their first defeat of the season.
Platinum remained at the top of the standings though with 12 points after Highlanders drew 1-1 with Dynamos at Rufaro.
“Yes, it was sweet victory. We tried our best especially from training and I am happy our efforts won us the match. I think it was a good start to our fight against relegation. We will continue fighting until we get it right and move out of the relegation zone,” Masomere said after the match.
Platinum assistant coach Tendai Chikuni conceded defeat and gave credit to Shabanie Mine.
“I give credit to Shabanie for a good performance. We were playing against a wounded lion and winning was always going to be difficult. We will go back to the drawing board and work on our game,” said Chikuni.
Platinum probed in the 25th minute through Ali Sadiki whose shot from outside the box was parried by Victor Twaliki into Donald Ngoma’s path. Ngoma’s rebound from close range found Twaliki resolute who again emphatically punched it into back into play.
Shabanie Mine responded a minute later with Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe whose stinger from outside the box grazed the upright post with Petros Mhari a beaten man.
Platinum were to miss the target again in the 43rd minute when Raphel Muduviwa left Kunyarimwe for dead on the right, but sent his shot wide from inside the box.
Sensing that his strike force was letting him down, Masomere made some changes bringing in Mususunye in 46th minute and Caleb Masocha in the 79th minute.
Platinum boss Tenant Chilumba also made some changes, bringing in Joel Ngodzo for Charles Sibanda in the 56th minute and Allan Gahadzikwa for Winston Mhango in the 79th minute.
It was Masomere who was to win the tactical battle as his changes won him the match just as it was ending in the 93rd minute through Mususunye.
Shabanie Mine midfielder Fungai Chirinda, who was moved to the right side attack from his usual holding role, did well to create the all-important goal by sending in a clever cross to an unmarked Mususunye in the box.
Mususunye controlled the ball well and turned before sending in a close-range stinger beating an exposed Mhari to send the Shabanie Mine crowd into a frenzy.