CHAMPIONS Platinum asserted their dominance in the local game after winning the Castle Challenge Cup for the fourth time in a row yesterday.
The four-time PSL champions beat the 2022 Chibuku Super Cup winners Bulawayo Chiefs 2-0 at Mandava stadium. The victory gave them the much needed confidence boost ahead of next week's league kick-off.
New signing Jarrison Selemani was the shining beacon for FC Platinum after providing an assist and scoring the second goal.
Coach Norman Mapeza was impressed with his team. The veteran gaffer predicted another fruitful season for his side as he aims to maintain his dominance on the domestic game.
"I'm happy with this win. It's a good start to the season. We are not yet there, but I believe we are in the right direction. In terms of fitness, we are not yet there but I'm happy," Mapeza said.
"I expect a tough season, but of course a winning start is all we needed. We needed this kind of start."
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The former Warriors coach was impressed by the flawless manner in which his new signings have settled.
"All our new signings did well. But I am still worried by the finishing. We did well in terms of creating chances,” he said.
“It's a positive thing that we are still good at creating chances, but we have to find ways of unlocking the goals."
FC Platinum struck first through Panashe Mutimbanyoka, who had the easy task of tapping the ball home from close range following a pin-point cross from Selemani after five minutes.
The former Dynamos winger, Selemani, was one of the standout performers on his debut as he appeared to have settled seamlessly in the Zvishavane-based side's attack.
There was nothing much to write home about in the first half except for Selemani's impressive assist.
The likes of Mutimbanyoka and Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya had chances to score towards the half-hour mark, but failed to breach goalminder Issa Ali.
Chiefs on the other hand could not carve out clear-cut opportunities to score, with FC Platinum goalkeeper spending the first half unbothered.
The defending champions doubled their scores on the 55th minute.
This time it was Selemani who darted the ball home from a cross that was delivered by Mutimbanyoka.
Chiefs gaffer Lizwe Sweswe tinkered with his squad but they did not click as they failed to create more chances.
Sweswe said: "I took positives from this one. Since I took over this is our first competitive match.
"Starting from scratch is not easy. We have a lot of things to do but I'm not under pressure. We take positives from each day of training."
In the previous editions, the platinum miners beat Harare City, Triangle and Highlanders.
They will start off the 2023 campaign with an away trip to face Simba Bhora next weekend.
FC PLATINUM: W Magalane, G Mbweti, KMangiza (N Chinyerere 90), L Mhlanga, M Ngwenya, H Magaya, J Mutudza, B Banda (I Mucheneka 87'), P Mutimbangoka (O Bhebhe 90), J Selemani (W Musona 64') , T Ngwenya (P Chikwende 64').
BULAWAYO CHIEFS: I Ali, R Mufudza (K Musharu 60),K Musharu (L Jesi 59') , M Msebe, W Stima (B Nyahunzvi 11'), O Chirinda, M Mkolo, P Shoko, D Phiri, B Vheremu (F Matare 70), F Moyo (A Ncube 70)