FC Plat­inum not feel­ing the heat

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Paul Mun­dandi Sports Re­porter

PRE­MIER­SHIP log lead­ers FC Plat­inum in­sist they are not feel­ing the heat of be­ing at the sum­mit of the elite the elite league and will not ex­ert them­selves un­der any pres­sure in their re­main­ing games.

FC Plat­inum will travel to Nyamhunga on Satur­day to face resur­gent ZPC Kariba seek­ing to main­tain their three-point ad­van­tage over sec­ond-placed Caps United.

Caps United are not in ac­tion un­til a day later when they also make the long trip to Chiredzi to face Tri­an­gle at Gibbo.

While much of the at­ten­tion has been fo­cused on the FC Plat­inum against Caps United ti­tle chase, ZPC Kariba who have shrugged off a mid-sea­son slump have forced them­selves back into the reck­on­ing.

ZPC Kariba are now fourth with 34 points and nine be­hind FC Plat­inum.

But with 27 points still to play for, it re­mains an open race in the cham­pi­onship dog­fight and FC Plat­inum know they would have to beat their clos­est ri­vals in or­der to sit more com­fort­ably at the top.

The plat­inum min­ers’ spokesper­son Chido Chi­zondo yes­ter­day said although they were aware of the ZPC re­vival story, they were not ex­ert­ing them­selves un­der any pres­sure.

Chi­zondo said they would not read much into the ZPC Kariba stat­ics.

ZPC have col­lected 10 points from their last five games in­clud­ing three con­sec­u­tive wins in their last three as­sign­ments.

The elec­tric­ity men also have a very ex­pe­ri­enced coach on their tech­ni­cal bench with Sun­day Chidzambwa di­rect­ing op­er­a­tions.

Chi­zondo, how­ever, said they would not lose fo­cus by pay­ing at­ten­tion to what other teams in the league are do­ing.

“Our team is not un­der any pres­sure and we will play our games as we have done in the past. We take each game as it comes and our hope is to col­lect max­i­mum points

“We are not tak­ing ZPC for granted. They are a very good side with ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers but we hope that we will leave Nyamhunga with smiles on our faces,” said Chido Chi­zondo.

De­spite be­ing held 1-1 by Chicken Inn last week­end to lose their five-point ad­van­tage, FC Plat­inum re­main among favourites to clinch the league ti­tle.

Although Chi­zondo played down talk of pres­sure, the Zvisha­vane out­fit must be won­der­ing what has hap­pened to their strike force.

Their at­tack has of late been the side’s Achilles Heel with new ac­qui­si­tions Makai “Jecha’’ Kawashu and Charles Sibanda still to score since ar­riv­ing at the start of last month.

Their play at home has been dis­ap­point­ing as they have been held to dis­ap­point­ing draws by lowly Mutare City, Hwange, Caps United and Chicken Inn in the matches they could have eas­ily won.

Their strik­ers have been fir­ing blanks as Charles Sibanda and Makai Kawashu are still to score since join­ing the Zvisha­vane-based side this sea­son.

As a re­sult of their ster­ile at­tack, FC Plat­inum have now dropped 15 cru­cial points from their home games.

Another striker Brian Mu­zondiwa, whom FC Plat­inum used to rely on for goals, has also strug­gled for pre­ci­sion, man­ag­ing just one goal since his re­turn from in­jury.

In fact since the de­par­ture of Zam­bian Obrey Chirwa who moved to Tan­za­nia, FC Plat­inum have not found a reg­u­lar goal scorer.

While their at­tack might have come in for some flak for be­ing ster­ile, FC Plat­inum have been solid in de­fence and mid­field with for­mer Dy­namos man Gift Bello play­ing some fine foot­ball in the heart of the rear­guard.

FC Plat­inum who last sea­son won 3-0 at Nyamhunga in the cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture will on Satur­day be look­ing to have a re­peat of that show and stem ZPC Kariba’s re­vival.

Just like their op­po­nents Chidzambwa’s men have also no­to­ri­ously been waste­ful in front of goal.

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