By MUZIWETHU HADEBE
FC PLATINUM maintained their two point lead at the top of the Castle Larger Premier Soccer League as they came from a goal down to beat fellow Platinum miners Ngezi Platinum Stars 2-1 at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane on Saturday.
The visitors shocked the log leaders when Michael Charamba who was given a rare start by Coach Tonderai Ndiraya gave the Ngezi Mhondoro side the lead after 25 minutes with a powerful shot. FC Platinum equalised on the stroke of half time through Kelvin Moyo in what was his fourth goal of the season.
FC platinum secured the points when former Hwange Midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere scored his eighth goal of the season.
In BULAWAYO at Babourfields stadium Dynamos maintained the pressure on FC Platinum with a 3-2 victory over already relegated Bantu Rovers.
The clamour Boys raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening 24 minutes of the match with goals from Christian Epoupa, Quality Kangadze and captain Ocean Mushure.
With the match six minutes old an alert Epoupa met a low cross in the box from Kangadze with a powerful shot for his 12th goal of the season. Epoupa turned provider five minutes later as he picked Kangadze who obliged with a screamer as the Dembare took control of the match. Captain Mushure capitalised on a rare mistake by seasoned player Tapiwa Kumbuyani to slot the ball into the nets, for him to reach double figures in this term. It was Mushure’s 10th goal of the season.
With the singing Dynamos fans expecting more goals, it was Rovers who pulled one back through Mccarthy Dube two minutes from the break for only his second goal of the season as Dynamos took a 3-1 lead at the break.
Rovers were a changed side in the second half as they fought their way through it. Half time substitute Lucky Ndlela who had been on the pitch for only three minutes was brought down in the box by Dynamos midfielder Tichaona Chipunza and the referee Thabani Bhamala pointed to the spot. Nigel Papius on loan from FC Platinum converted the spot kick for his fourth goal of the season.
Thereafter it was a balanced affair with both sides missing a couple of chances with the best opportunities falling on Dynamos forward Cleopas Kapupurika who had two glorious chances towards the end.
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa said after the match “The title is not in our hands but being Dynamos that we are, we will fight all the way and only give up on the last day”. He went on to praise Bantu Rovers Coach Methembe Ndlovu for giving a lot of youngsters a playing opportunity. “ Look we are always recycling players but Methembe always produces these stars who go on to shine on the big stage like Kuda mahachi and Marvellous Nakamba, which is good”, he said.
Ndlovu said he was proud of his boys fight back although disappointed with the end result. “I thought the performance was satisfactory, it’s just unfortunate we conceded early and it’s something which is uncharacteristic of us and we had warned the players before the match, I am overall happy though with the way we played in the second half ahead of our last match of the season”.
The two results mean that the championship will be decided on the last day of the season. FC Platinum faces Chapungu at Ascot stadium in Gweru needing a win to secure their first league title. Dynamos will need a win over Chicken Inn at home and hope that FC Platinum drop points.