FC PLATINUM’S draw record which stems from a sterile strikeforce is threatening the team’s bid to win their first league title since promotion into the top-flight in 2011.
BY Kevin Mapasure
Since the platinum miners gained promotion they have always been involved in the title race and while they still have a good chance of ending their drought this term, their failure to convert draws into wins could see them endure another barren season.
With seven matches still to be played, FC Platinum are three points behind leaders Dynamos, but the rate at which they are failing to kill off teams raises fears that this search may not be fruitful.
Despite having suffered the fewest defeats with two, Norman Mapeza’s side has so far played 11 draws, the highest in the league and only matched by Tsholotsho who sit second from bottom on the 18-team table.
Their biggest problem has been a blunt strikeforce that rarely scores more than one goal in a match.
FC Platinum’s biggest win so far this season was the 3-1 mauling of Dynamos at Mandava and one wonders what if their strikeforce was that lethal and brutal against everyone?
Since that win over Dynamos, FC Platinum have scored just eight goals in 10 matches, having played three draws and one defeat with six wins in the bag.
At the weekend, the Zvishavane-based side looked like they were going to pick up a vital win over Caps United, but their failure to get an insurance goal came back to haunt them as the Green Machine stole a late equaliser.
FC Platinum plays possession-based football, they almost always dominate play with some good passes, yet, the end product does not match it.
To date, they have scored 28 goals, compared to table-toppers Dynamos, who have banged 46 the same as second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Black Rhinos and Triangle, who sit on position nine and 10 respectively have both scored more than FC Platinum with 29 goals each to their name.
FC Platinum have only managed to score two or more goals in a match five times this season, compared with Dynamos who managed that 14 times.
Despite having invested a lot in their strikeforce, where they signed veterans Takesure Chinyama and Mkhokeli Dube and Ali Sadiki during the mid-season transfer window, goals continue to elude the well-resourced side.
Before that they had brought in Gift Mbweti, who was a reliable source of goals for Hwange, having released Talent Chawapiwa, who is not making waves in South Africa after his move from ZPC Kariba.
Mapeza has been forced on a number of occasions to defend his team after accusations that they get dubious penalties, especially when they play at home.
Mapeza’s side, however, have the best defence in the league, having conceded just 13 goals in 27 matches compared to Dynamos who shipped in 20, while Ngezi Platinum Stars were breached 25 times.
Chicken Inn have the second best defence, having conceded 17 goals, but like FC Platinum their strike rate is could come back to haunt them.