BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM….. (0)1
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was left to rue missed chances by his players in the team’s 1-1 draw with Triangle at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
As a result, the Zvishavane side wasted a clear shot at overtaking Ngezi Platinum in Group 4 of the Chibuku Super Cup tournament.
It appeared the platinum miners were going to hold on to a slender 1-0 victory following Brian Banda’s well-taken strike after 51 minutes, but Triangle won a late penalty in the 88th minute, which defender Donald Mudadi converted to restore parity.
A win could have helped the Mapeza-coached team leap to 12 points, and claim pole position in the group for the first time.
The draw means they remain second to Ngezi Platinum though they are both tied on 10 points.
Ngezi Platinum face WhaWha this morning and the odds favour them to beat the prison wardens and consolidate their position ahead of the final showdown versus FC Platinum.
The hosts, FC Platinum struck after 51 minutes when Panashe Mutimbanyoka played Rainsome Pavari onside with an inspired through-ball that eluded two defenders and opened up the midfielder for a clear one-on-one with the goal keeper, Takabva Mawaya.
Despite having a clear shot on an open goal, Pavari chose to unselfishly square the ball to Brian Banda, allowing the former Highlanders player to score his first goal for the club from a much easier angle.
Mutimbanyoka almost doubled the scores in the 80th minute, after beating a poorly organised offside trap, but he lobbed the ball over the cross bar with Mawaya at his mercy.
The platinum miners rued a tale of missed chances as they conceded a late penalty.
Pavari, who was having a good day in the office, was clumsy as he fouled Collins Dhuwa in the box, with referee Lucky Ngwenya decisive to award the penalty to Triangle.
Donald Mudadi took responsibility and comfortable converted, saving the Triangle blushes.
“We had a good game but I thought we had a lot of changes which we could have buried but we couldn’t,” Mapeza said in his post-match assessment.
“The team was mobile but scoring was the main challenge for us. We could have won this one but it wasn’t meant to be.
“We go back and restructure, remain positive for the last match against Ngezi. We are through to the next stage and we just have to remain positive, especially that everyone is getting his chance to play except for the guys who are injured.”
Mangwiro was disappointed with the way his squad applied themselves throughout the match.
“It’s disappointing that we are struggling in different areas but I expect improvements going forward. We could have done better but didn’t because they dominated us for the better part of the game.
“A win would have done nothing really in terms of our qualification chances, but we wanted to do it for our player Ronald Mudimu who is sick and admitted in hospital.
“We are dedicating everything to him because he is part of our family and we wanted to win it for him. We now look to the final match against WhaWha where we expect to do better than this performance,” Mangwiro said.
FC Platinum began the encounter on the front foot, dominating possession with the quick passing game as well as carving out the better scoring opportunities.
But their forward line lacked the cutting edge, with Silas Songani in particular, being set up on several occasions, but failed to beat Mawaya.
Rookie FC Platinum forward Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya had the first chance of the game with a low shot on the third minute from inside the box, but Mawaya was equal to the task.