FC PLATINUM maintained pressure on log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars when they got the better of Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debutants in a match played at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Winston Mhango (pictured) converted a first half penalty and that is all the home side needed to complete their 10th win of the season, as they moved to within three points of the table toppers.
It was a game where the visitors gave their all, but could just not breach the champions’ defence.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza acknowledged that they had faced a team which proved difficult to break down.
“Today, we were playing an organised team, but we did well to win. We worked to win and we achieved it. Credit goes to the boys for a good fight. Our aim is to win every game and as coaches, we are prepared for all the tough challenges ahead. We want to retain the title and its work in progress,” he said.
Mapeza said at this stage of the season their focus was on winning every game.
“We have our own targets and that is what we are working on. Every team in the league is there to compete, so we are not focusing on Ngezi or any other particular team.”
His counterpart John Nyikadzino was satisfied with his team’s performance although the result didn’t go their way.
“I am proud the boys did well, we lost to the champions and that is part of the game,” he said. “We executed our game plan very well, but that was not good enough. It is unfortunate that we lost, but we will keep on working because this one is a long marathon,” he said.”
Nichrut were on the backfoot for the better part of the first half and their defence looked shaky without former Young Warriors skipper Asani Nhongo.
Nevertheless, the hosts were not convincing. It was referee Arnold Ncube who gifted them with what appeared to be a dubious penalty in the first half’s stoppage when Rodwell Chinyengetere looked to have been fairly shrugged off the ball by David Boriondo.
Mhango calmly converted from the spotkick to put the miners ahead with Nichrut goalkeeper Tafadzwa Jabangwe going the wrong way.
Twice in the first stanza, the platinum miners were denied by the wordwork.
After the interval, Nichrut were all over the reigning champions, but their efforts amounted to nothing.
Nigel Mpinduki almost scored on the hour mark, but goalkeeper Petros Mhari was there to save the situation.
That was the closest Nichrut came to an equaliser even though they controlled the tempo in the second half.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, W Mhango, R Chinyengetere, F Madhananga, R Kutsanzira, M Dube( A Eonde 72 min), A Sadiki (G Mbweti 81′)
Nichrut FC: T Jabangwe, G Bhero, B Sibanda, N Mpinduki, F Vimisayi, S Masunda, D Boriondo, F Bushiri, T Hapazari( J Chivasa 57 min), E Mwinga (B Madanhire 86 min), S Sithole (R Mabhena 66 min)