FC Platinum spirits still high: Mapeza

Norman Mapeza

FC PLATINUM have refused to let the controversy that surrounded their ill-tempered league match against Highlanders distract them as they prepare for the game against Herentals at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.

Violence erupted at Mandava Stadium after FC Platinum was awarded a penalty which saw rowdy Highlanders fans fiercely protesting, leading to the match being abandoned.

The penalty was awarded in the 82nd minute after referee Kuzivakwashe Jaravaza adjudged Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa to have brought down FC Platinum’s Walter Musona inside the box, but the decision irked the visiting fans and the match was abandoned with the scoreline at 1-1.

However, coach Norman Mapeza yesterday said there was a great atmosphere in the camp and they were hopeful of collecting maximum points against Herentals.

“We are playing a very good team. They (Herentals) haven’t been very consistent, but they are a good team. Coach (Kumbirai) Mutiwekuziva has done extremely well to lead the team,” Mapeza said.

“The team has quality, but what is important for us is to go there with a positive attitude which we showed against Highlanders. All we need is to pick up from where we left against Highlanders and get a positive result.”

However, the platinum miners are set to miss the services of Kelvin Mangiza and Nigel Makumbe due to injuries. But they take comfort in that Rainsome Pavari is returning to the team after serving his suspension.

“We have a clean bill of health, except for two guys who picked knocks last weekend, that’s Kelvin Mangiza and Nigel Makumbe. Rainsome Pavari is available after missing Saturday’s game because of yellow cards, but this time, he will be available,” said Mapeza, adding that he was pleased with how his team had evolved since the season began after dispensing with seven senior players.

“That was a crucial transition and it’s only for people with football minds to understand our situation. We have improved with each outing. We dropped points on very difficult games for example that one against Manica Diamonds, we ended up settling for a point. The same happened against Black Rhinos,” he said.

“But if you look at the teams, they have been winning at home and we managed to get a result. For me, I knew it would take three or four months to gel. At the moment, I am happy with how the guys have performed and my wish is for them to be able to maintain the momentum.”

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