FC Platinum (1) (1)
FC Platinum laboured to a narrow victory over a battling army side Chapungu to claim the bragging rights in the Midlands derby played at Mandava yesterday.
BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE
A solitary first-half goal from Gift Mbweti was all the miners needed to ensure maximum points in a fiercely contested affair.
The result means that Pure Platinum Play will spend the night in third place with 29 points, two behind leaders Ngezi Platinum and level on points with Dynamos who are second.
Ngezi Platinum and Dynamos are playing their week 17 fixtures today.
Chapungu came into the duel boasting of a commendable defence that was only breached by Dynamos in three months. While the hosts had been poor in front of goal having scored only 13 goals in 15 matches prior to yesterday’s match.
The platinum miners also came into the match desperate for three points after they succumbed to their first defeat in the league this season away to Ngezi Platinum in their previous match.
The visitors responded positively after conceding first by putting their opponents to the sword with a determined performance.
The platinum miners had surged ahead after 24 minutes and never looked like relinquishing their lead in the opening stanza.
After the breather, a half time pep talk by coach Tendai Chikuni who was once on the books of the miners, Chapungu took the game to the hosts with wave after wave of attack in search of the equaliser
Norman Mapeza commended his charges for a job well done but acknowledged that they were given a run for their money by their provincial rivals.
“It was a good game of football. First half we did very well but in the second half we did not get into the game that is football,” he said.
“The defence did very well in the second half when [Chapungu] were coming at us.
“I am proud of the boys. They did very well and it is also good for the boys to go for the break with a win.”
Chikuni blamed the officiating for their defeat.
“We changed our system in the second half and it was working well. But I am very disappointed with the officiating, it is also very important for players to be protected by the match officials,” Chikuni said.