FC Plat­inum, Ngezi clash

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - From Paul Mun­dandi in ZVISHAVANE

THEY may have en­coun­tered set­backs along the way but ti­tle chas­ing FC Plat­inum re­main con­fi­dent they will turn the ta­bles in the race when they host Ngezi Plat­inum at Man­dava this af­ter­noon.

For­mer FC Plat­inum cap­tain and now as­sis­tant coach to Nor­man Mapeza, Daniel Veremu was putting on a brave face yes­ter­day as he urged the team’s play­ers and sup­port­ers to keep the faith.

The plat­inum min­ers were dis­lodged by Caps United last week when they lost to Harare City and are now trail­ing two points be­hind in sec­ond place. Veremu sounded up­beat yes­ter­day as they braced for a test against their plat­inum min­ing cousins.

“We might have lost the game to Harare City but that was not the end of the world to us. It’s true we fell but we man­aged to pick our­selves up and dusted. We have twelve points to play for and we are still in the marathon.

“All we need to do is win all our re­main­ing games and see what hap­pens at the end of the sea­son. God is the only one who knows our destiny. He knows the team that will lift the cham­pi­onship and we are not pan­ick­ing nei­ther are we un­der pres­sure,” said Veremu.

FC Plat­inum coach Mapeza had a meet­ing with his play­ers on Tues­day where he urged them to step up the fight fol­low­ing the loss to Harare City at Ru­faro.

The for­mer Monomo­tapa gaffer has seen it all and has a ti­tle un­der the belt af­ter lead­ing de­funct Monomo­tapa to their sole cham­pi­onship suc­cess in 2008.

The 31-year-old coach is not even wor­ried that they will be miss­ing de­fender Gift Bello and mid­fielder Ger­ald Tak­wara through sus­pen­sion

Tak­wara was shown a straight red card against Harare City whilst Bello has ac­cu­mu­lated three yel­lows.

Hi­lary Bakacheza, Elvis Moyo and hard tack­ling Nqo­bizitha Ma­suku were nurs­ing in­juries and might fea­ture in the team if they man­aged to pass a late fit­ness test yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

“We once played with­out Bello af­ter he got a red card against ZPC and won. The same must hap­pen as I feel we have enough cover. The two are im­por­tant mem­bers of the team but who­ever is called to fill their po­si­tion must de­liver.

“The match to­mor­row (to­day) is just like any other match. We re­spect Ngezi, they are a good side but we have an ex­pe­ri­enced coach who came through such a sit­u­a­tion and won the league. Los­ing to Harare City was not the end of us.

“We are still con­fi­dent and we are still in the race. Our fo­cus is on the re­main­ing four games and we will not change any­thing but we will stick to our game plan,” said Veremu.

This is the sec­ond time since 2011 when they stormed the Premier­ship that FC Plat­inum are in­volved in se­ri­ous fight for the ti­tle. They shocked all in their de­but sea­son only to lose it in the penul­ti­mate round when they lost at home to even­tual win­ners Dy­namos.

Veremu was the Fall Guy when he nod­ded in an own goal from a free kick. So will Pure Plat­inum Play crum­ble again this year when it mat­ters most? At one time this year led the race with seven points but they have since been over­taken by Caps United.

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