FC Platinum, Ngezi clash
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.