Pure Platinum Pain

HARARE CITY . . . . . . . (1) 2
FC PLATINUM . . . . . . . (0) 1

Moses Chunga-coached Harare City inflicted a potentially catastrophic defeat on log leaders FC Platinum, with a comfortable win over the visitors from Zvishavane, who had to play at least 77 minutes one man short after the sending off of anchorman Gerald Takwara at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.

By Munyaradzi Madzokere

The defeat — FC Platinum’s first in 13 matches since a one-nil loss to Chicken Inn in July — means CAPS United could shoot to the top of the log standings with a win away to Border Strikers today.

FC Platinum, on 51 points, have been top of the log for the past three months and CAPS United at 50 could assume the lead with only four matches remaining in the season.

With CAPS United fans coming in full force to support Harare City, youngster Grey Kufandada struck the opener early in the match, with William Manondo doubling the lead in the second half.

Walter Musona scored the consolation goal for the visitors right at the death.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was left fuming at the defeat as well as the refereeing on the day.

“I am disappointed we lost the game. Why should I be happy? But we still need to keep working hard and see how the season progresses. For the first time, I am not happy about the refereeing and sometimes you need some clarity. I was checking on the second goal. I thought the guy was offside and he [the referee] said otherwise. I think I have a right,” he said.

“After losing Takwara in the first 15 minutes, it was going to be difficult. The decision was a bit harsh, but that is football and we have to move on. There are still four more games to play. We also want to win this championship, but you never know what is going to happen. So we leave everything in God’s hands.”

FC Platinum had the first goal-scoring chance after nine minutes when Walter Musona directed his shot wide off the post following an exquisite William Sitima square ball.

Four minutes later, they would fall behind against the run of play as Kufandada deflected a Tatenda Tumba shot into the net past a bemused Petros Mhari.

Things went from bad to worse three minutes later for Mapeza’s men when Gerard Takwara was shown a straight red car by referee Philani Ncube after a crude late lunge on Tumba.

Harare City extended the lead with a goal even English Premier League football giants Arsenal, who are known for their slick passing football, would envy.

Martin Vengesayi exchanged passes with Ronald Chitiyo and the latter produced a clever no-look dinked through-ball, which Manondo cooly slotted past Mhari.

Soundly beaten, FC Platinum scored the consolation goal in the second minute of injury time with a brilliant free kick effort by Musona.

The hosts’ coach Chunga was elated after the match.

“I’m over the moon. It was a good victory and we played fantastic football. The guys were up to it today, but in the first 20 minutes we gave them too much room. They were building from the back, but once we got the goal, we started playing well,” he said.

Teams

Harare City: T Dube, T Chimwemwe, M Diro-Nyenye, D Mawere, R Uchena, J Jam, E Madhanhanga, W Manondo, M Vengesayi, T Tumba (R Chitiyo 30’), G Kufandada (R Manuvire 60’)

FC Platinum: P Mhari, I Nekati, G Bello, W Sitima, K Moyo, G Takwara, T Dzumbunu, R Chinyengetere (M Mudehwe 64’), W Musona, T Rukanda (W Kamudyariwa 49’), C Sibanda (M Kawashu 64’)

Results at a glance:

Chapungu 0-1 Highlanders, Harare City 2-1 FC Platinum, How Mine 0-0 Mutare City Rovers, Ngezi Platinum Stars 1-1 Tsholotsho, ZPC Kariba 1-0 Triangle

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