FC Platinum ……………. ……… (1) 1
Ngezi Platinum ……………… (0)
It took 13 days for FC Platinum captain Petros Mhari to finally get the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League trophy after winning it, but that moment finally came when the two-time champion received silver at Mandava yesterday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The Norman Mapeza people live up to their billing with a 1-0 win over their platinum rivals Ngezi Platinum, who for most of the season seems to be taking the title race to the wire before failing to come out towards the end of the campaign.
Prize striker Mbweti put the icing on the cake on the stroke of half time when he nodded home a corner kick thrown by an impressive Rahman Kutsanzira, prompting a carnival party in the stands.
Celebrations for FC Platinum's second consecutive title began long before kick-off, both inside and outside their Mandava fortress.
The cheering Mapeza praised his charges for consistency throughout the season which he stated was the main factor behind his team's success.
"This is not easy for us during this campaign, but we managed to do it. We are working hard to get this far. This achievement means a lot to us as a team.
We have worked hard during this trip, "Mapeza said.
"It brings great joy to see your team do well like this. I am proud of my team and the whole family of FC Platinum. I am happy to be able to achieve this as a coach and also raise these children to a higher level. But above all, I want to thank the Almighty for leading us through this journey. "
The former Warriors star has looked ahead and noted the need to maintain focus ahead of their participation in the CAF Champions League.
"Our overall performance has been good, although we need to improve our next challenge. We just need to stay focused and continue to work hard, "he said.
Although Ngezi Platinum seemed determined to ruin FC Platinum's party, Mhari's keeper and skipper was a stumbling block as he made a top-notch save in both parts.
Twice in the first stanza, Mhari did well to deny Madamburo a breakthrough when he made a brilliant reflex except to deny Liberty Chakoroma from inside the box before he gave Donald Teguru a header over the crossbar.
Mhari also denied Godknows Murwira from a free kick a few yards outside the box although Kenneth Bulaji should have been better in the rebound.
Ngezi Platinum gaffer Clifton Kadurira was very good in defeat when he praised FC Platinum for their successful title defense
"They have been good and that made them get this championship. We can achieve something, but some bumps along the way make us slip. We want to get something next season and we will work hard for that, "he said.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa G Bello, W Stima, E Moyo, W Mhango, D Chafa, F Madhanhanga (N Tigere 90), R Kutsanzira, A Eonde (A Eonde 90) G Mbweti (F Mupasiri 80)
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, J Nguluve (S Nhivi 58), P Moyo, K Bulaji, W Mukanga, K Murera, F Mukarati, L Chakoroma, D Teguru (T Mabvura 61), M Charamba (X Moyo 72) G Murwira .
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League results and fixtures
Yesterday: FC Platinum 1-0 Ngezi Platinum Stars, Herentals 0-0 Chicken Inn, Bulawayo City 4-1 CAPS United, Harare City 0-0 ZPC Kariba
Today: Head of Bulawayo v Highlanders (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Mutare City Rovers (Rufaro), Triangle United v Nichrut (Gibbo), Black Rhinos v Shabanie Mine (NSS), Chapungu v Yadah FC (Ascot).