BY TERRY MADYAUTA
NGEZI PLATINUM……….. (0)1
FC PLATINUM……………… (0)2
FC PLATINUM secured top spot in Group 4 of the Chibuku Super Cup after edging Ngezi Platinum in an entertaining Platinum derby played at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Innocent Mucheneka and Rainsome Pavari struck in the second half for the Norman Mapeza coached side while Bruno Mtigo scored Ngezi Platinum’s consolation goal.
Although both teams had already booked their tickets to the quarterfinals, the match remained significant with top position in the group and pride stake.
In the end FC Platinum’s victory ensured they sneaked to the top of group courtesy of a superior goal difference after both teams finished tied on 13 points.
Coach Norman Mapeza was elated by the result as his men managed to get some form of revenge after losing the first leg on a similar scoreline.
“I wouldn’t want to call it revenge, it was just a game of football and I am happy that my players are responding to the training and instructions.,” Mapeza said.
“I am happy that we are creating opportunities and converting them at the same time. It only shows that we are moving in the right direction and we are now going to wait and see how it plays out in the next round.”
His counterpart Rodwell Dhlakama was disappointed with the outcome. He said complacency was his side’s main drawback.
“It’s difficult to accept a defeat but from the coach’s perspective, I would say we gave away the game especially considering that we missed two clear cut chances in the first half,” Dhlakama said.
“We could have wrapped up the game in the first half, but we allowed them to come back into the game in the second half.
“A draw would have been good for us, but complacency affected us. We relaxed after equalising and as a result we conceded from a dead ball situation and never recovered.”
For Ngezi Platinum this was their only blemish since the start of the group phase where they scored 16 goals in six outings. However, the fact that they conceded seven time times, two more than FC Platinum saw them surrender pole position.
After a deadlocked but pulsating first half, FC Platinum opened the scoring on the 50 minute courtesy of a Mucheneka header from Panashe Mutimbanyoka’s curling cross.
Twenty minutes later Ngezi Platinum restored parity, when Lawrence Mhlanga was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
Nigel Makumbe took responsibility for the spot kick, but his effort was palmed back into play by goalie Petros Mhari, with Bruno Mtigo the quickest to react and dart the ball home on the rebound.
However, FC Platinum kept prodding with Panashe Mutimbanyoka menacing Qadr Amini on the right wing.
The 18-year-old won a free-kick just outside the box, which was headed home by Rainsome Pavari from a Donald Teguru sumptuous delivery on the 85th minute.
In truth FC Platinum could have won this tie with a bigger margin had their young striker Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya been clinical, especially in the first half.
Twice, the club’s junior product hit the upright post with the goalkeeper Nelson Chadya at his mercy.
Ngezi on the other hand, had their fair share of chances but the high humidity took a huge toll on them and by the hour mark, coach Dhlakama had substituted his usually playmaking pair of Denver Mukamba and Valentine Kadonzvo for failing to endure the conditions.
Ngezi Platinum: N Chadya, K Chigwida, D Mukamba (A Chivandire 62′)P Moyo, B Mtigo, Q Amini, W Taderera, V Kadonzvo( M Makuwe 62′), M Mukumba, A Makopa ( N Chintuli 88), M Mushonga (N Makumbe 73′).
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Kutsanzira, D Dzvinyai, L Mhlanga, K Mangiza, R Pavari, I Mucheneka, R Chinyengetere (B Moyo 66′), P Mutimbanyoka, D Teguru, T Ngwenya.