FC Plat­inum con­sol­i­date log lead

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Os­car Rusenga in Tri­an­gle

Tri­an­gle FC 1-2 FC Plat­inum LEAD­ERS FC Plat­inum stemmed a three­match win­less streak to over­come Tri­an­gle at Gibbo and open a five-point lead at the top of the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League stand­ings yes­ter­day.

The plat­inum min­ers had been re­stricted to draws in their last three matches against Hwange and CAPS United away and at home by new­boys Mutare City.

Nor­man Mapeza’s men, how­ever, got it right yes­ter­day to also check Tri­an­gle’s minire­vival in the process.

Two first half goals from Nqo­bizita Ma­suku and Tari­sai Rukanda were enough for the ta­ble top­pers to con­sol­i­date their lead.

With se­cond placed CAPS United slump­ing to a shock 3-1 de­feat at Bu­l­awayo City and third placed High­landers hav­ing also fallen 1-0 at ZPC Kariba at Nyamhunga, FC Plat­inum can now en­joy some breath­ing space ahead of the Week 21 games.

The plat­inum min­ers were a far much bet­ter side in the first half but the home side also cre­ated more than enough chances to get them goals.

James Chivasa was sur­prised to re­ceive a book­ing when he thought he had won a penalty af­ter be­ing chal­lenged from be­hind from a one on one sit­u­a­tion with FC Plat­inum goal­keeper Pet­ros Mhari af­ter just eight min­utes.

Ref­eree Masakadza Makonese, how­ever, thought oth­er­wise and booked the for­ward for sim­u­la­tion.

FC Plat­inum then got the break­through on the home side goal­keeper when Ron­ald Mudimu failed to clear a low cross from the left flank and Ma­suku cap­i­talised to score from a crowded box.

Tri­an­gle then re­sponded with a goal of their own, a crack­ing shot by Tichaona Ma­pung­wana from out­side the box that gave Mhari no chance as it flew to the bot­tom left cor­ner in the 17th minute.

Su­gar Su­gar Boys coach David “Yogi’’ Mandig­ora was forced to make an in­juryin­spired sub­sti­tu­tion tak­ing off Brian Juwayeyi and in­tro­duc­ing vet­eran Guthrie Zhokinyi be­fore the half-hour mark.

Tri­an­gle had all of their four cen­tre­backs in the team, in­creas­ing the num­ber of de­fen­sive play­ers to eight play­ers leav­ing, only Nel­son Mazivisa and Chivasa up­font.

FC Plat­inum re­stored their lead when Rukanda ben­e­fited from be­low par of­fi­ci­at­ing from Bikita-based ref­eree Masakadza who waved play on af­ter Tri­an­gle de­fender Kudzai Chig­wida ap­peared to have been fouled in the build up to FC Plat­inum’s se­cond goal in the 38th minute.

Tri­an­gle’s protests to the man on the cen­tre changed noth­ing and FC Plat­inum en­sured they went to the break lead­ing, an ad­van­tage they would hang on to un­til the end of the match.

The se­cond half pro­duced an en­ter­tain­ing af­fair but Tri­an­gle came clos­est to equal­is­ing as Mazivisa’s per­fect header forced Mhari to make a smart save in the 49th minute be­fore Wal­ter Mu­sona ski­ied his ef­fort af­ter a bril­liant set up from Charles Sibanda on the other end.

Tri­an­gle cap­tain Nhamo Lameck who came on as a first half sub­sti­tute had his thun­der­bolt pushed out for a cor­ner by the op­pos­ing cap­tain Mhari who was busy be­tween the sticks just af­ter the hour mark.

The hosts’ cen­tre­back Don­ald Dzvinyai could have seen red when he fouled Mar­shal Mude­hwe mid­way af­ter a failed counter at­tack but the ref­eree was le­nient and gave a fi­nal warn­ing to the de­fender who was al­ready car­ry­ing a yel­low card and that left FC Plat­inum coach Nor­man Mapeza fum­ing.

Mapeza was how­ever nat­u­rally happy with the re­sult.

“It was a good game of foot­ball. The guys played good foot­ball in the first half. We cre­ated some few chances but I am happy for the three points,’’ Mapeza said.

Mandig­ora said he was dis­ap­pointed to lose at home.

“We lost and I am dis­ap­pointed about the de­feat at home. We dis­ap­pointed our sup­port­ers and I think we could have done bet­ter at home,’’ said Mandig­ora.

Nor­man Mapeza

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