Hwange dump FC Platinum

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FORTUNE MBELE IN HWANGE

A PENALTY by Gerald Ndlovu in the 59th minute ensured Hwange cruised through to the quarter-finals of the country’s richest football tournament for the first time since its inception in 2011 after beating FC Platinum at the Colliery yesterday.

It was yet another bad day for Lloyd Mutasa and his boys after falling 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out to Shabanie Mine last Saturday in the final of the BancABC Sup8r Cup at Mandava Stadium.

Man of the match Farai Vimisai was the toast of the day for the coal miners as he disabled the platinum miners in the first half in a match that, however, had degenerated into a drab affair before Ndlovu converted from the spot kick a minute before the hour mark.

Hwange goalkeepers’ coach Chenjerayi Dube breaking the jinx and going to the quarter-finals for the first time was a confidence booster and they will fight hard to reach the final of the tournament.

“I think we played as a team as we have been emphasising on team work at training because we have been playing individual soccer all along. This one was a game well played and it is definitely a morale booster that we are going into the quarter-finals for the first time. That means we now have to fight hard to reach the final,” Dube said.

The match appeared to be headed for a penalty shootout before Hwange substitute Tafara Chese cut through the FC Platinum defence and set up Isaac Masame inside the box.

Winston Mhango then brought down the charging Masame inside the box and referee Philani Ncube pointed to the spot for Ndlovu to convert.

FC Platinum, however, complained that the centre-man Ncube had denied them what looked like a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, claiming a Hwange defender handled inside the box in a goalmouth scramble.

Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa said he was not given to saying much about things that he had no control over.

“It is a pity that the playing field was not even. But we created our chances that we also missed.

“There was a clear penalty that we were not given, but I don’t want to touch on things that I have no control over. What we know best is just to play our football. The referee played a part in our loss,” Mutasa said.

But Hwange already made their intentions known three minutes into the game when Oscar Lungu missed the right upright after a beautiful build-up by Richard Jongwe and Evans Rusike.

Vimisai was also at the start of another move in the ninth minute but Lungu’s weak shot was saved by Tizayi.

FC Platinum then settled in well with Obrey Chirwa troubling the Hwange defence, but surprisingly Mutasa pulled him out in the second half and Platinum lost the plot.

Vimisai was at it again in the 69th minute with a beautiful cross, but an unmarked substitute Nkosana Siwela wasted the effort inside the box.

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