FC Platinum held to a goalless draw by Herentals.
Needing a win to ease the early pressure from the Coal miners as well as ZPC Kariba- both teams which have lost once at this stage of the campaign — Pure Platinum were left to rue a string of wasted chances in a match best remembered for Herentals tenacity rather than the champions’ pedigree.
Defending champions FC Platinum let slip a chance to consolidate their lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership league table after the Zvishavane-based outfit were held to a goalless draw by a stubborn Herentals side. Instead, Hwange or ZPC Kariba have been gifted an opportunity to leapfrog the champions, when the two face struggling giants Highlanders and Dynamos in their respective matches this afternoon.
Herentals produced a spirited performance and were clearly the happier of the two camps. With yesterday’s draw, FC Platinum still look the early pacesetters with 14 points from six matches, but in the case of winning their matches today, either Hwange FC or ZPC Kariba now have the power to dislodge Pure Platinum play. Both are on 12 points from five matches.
Herentals came into the game, boosted by their impressive record in the last two games against Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum where they picked a vital four points. Their style of play could not match FC Platinum’s free-flowing game by a measure, but the Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva-coached side made a huge statement for themselves as they bravely resisted the relentlessly attacking Champions.
Never Tigere and Devon Chafa had the early chances for the platinum miners, but both failed to hit the target. Herentals also had chances, albeit few and far in-between, as they mostly sat deep in their half for the larger portions of the match. Prince Chama and Tinotenda Benza had chances in either halves of the game but they failed to beat FC Platinum goalie Petros Mhari.
FC Platinum mentor Norman Mapeza was disappointed with the result.
“We could have won the game in the first half but we failed to convert the chances we got. We dominated this encounter and I really thought we could have collected maximum points easily. But we cannot mourn because it’s part of football, at least we got a point, and now go back to the drawing board and hope to improve on our next assignment,” he said
Mutiwekuziva heaped praise on his youthful squad for a brave show saying: “I could not have asked for more.
“These boys have been doing wonders for us. FC Platinum are the toughest team in the league and it means a lot for us to get a point against them. We held Ngezi and now FC Platinum so it’s just a reflection that we can even do better going forward.”
FC PLATINUM: P Mhari, L Mhlanga, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, D Chafa, R Pavari, A Sadiki, R Kutsanzira, N Tigere, P Chikwende.
HERENTIALS: S Gondo, B Majarira, C Mavhurume, J Mutudza, W Chimbetu, B Maunganidze, R Hachiro, T Chitukutuku, T Benza, P Chota, P Chama
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