The Sunday Mail
Mukudzei Chingwere in Zvishavane
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Bulawayo Chiefs. . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
NORMAN MAPEZA was far from being pleased with Albert Eonde when FC Platinum fell 0-1 to Harare City during the week.
But the Cameroonian reminded Mapeza and the rest of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League of how lethal he can be, scoring twice at Mandava yesterday.
The big Cameroonian scored twice in the second half, adding to Kelvin Moyo’s strike to outweigh Perfect Chikwende’s late goal.
The Eonde inspired victory gives the defending champions a four point advantage at the top over Ngezi Platinum Stars who play today.
It was also a perfect revenge for the home side whose only defeat in the first half of the season was an away humbling at Bulawayo Chiefs.
Chiefs reportedly had shambolic preparations to this encounter with regular funder Lovemore Sibanda incapacitated to fund the trip to Zvishavane as he is fighting legal battles.
Their chaotic preparations showed from the onset.
Six minutes into the duel, Eonde was denied from close range by an alert Chiefs goalie David Bizabani.
Midfield hard man Farai Madhanhanga thought he had put the miners ahead after 33 minutes but his effort that hit the underside of the crossbar before dropping to the ground was waved away by the officials.
The services of video assistant referee (VAR) would have cleared the confusion but that piece of technology is yet to reach these shores.
Three minutes before halftime, Pure Platinum Play surged ahead through Moyo, with the central defender firing home after the visiting defence had failed to comprehensively clear Rahman Kutsanzira’s corner.
Seven minutes after the breather, Eonde profited from a perfect Kutsanzira pass, shooting on the turn to double FC Platinum’s lead.
The Cameroonian completed his brace on the hour mark, with simple tap-in from another Kutsanzira’s assist.
Chikwende scored a consolation 20 minutes before full-time. A rare lapse in concentration from the reliable Moyo set the forward free and he responded by firing a powerful shot beyond Wallace Magalane.
Mapeza was happy with the response of his players following the midweek defeat suffered in the capital.
“In terms of goals, we had an opportunity to score more goals but at the end of the day I cannot complain, what we wanted was three points and we managed to get the points,” he said.
On Eonde’s performance, Mapeza said, “Look that is his job, we need these guys to be scoring goals. Not only him but everybody in the team needs to score goals. Kelvin scored, that is what we want, for everybody to be involved when we attack and defend.
“I am happy for him, he scored two goals.lt brings his confidence up when we goes to the next game.”
Bulawayo Chiefs coach Garthly Chipuka blamed the defeat on the congested fixture, refusing to go into detail about their chaotic travelling arrangements.
“I would not comment much about the legal challenges but the truth is we were almost in a position where we could have failed to fulfil this match.
“Basically I would blame the loss to a congested fixture, it would have been a welcome development if this game was postponed just like other matches.
“You cannot demand the same intensity from the players when they have played three games in a week. We cannot rotate like these big teams do, they have more depth and quality,” said Chipuka.
FC Platinum: W Magalane, R Mudhuviwa, W Sitima, G Bello, K Moyo, W Mhango, F Madhanhanga (K Madzongwe 72’), R Chinyengetere (N Tigere 80’), R Kutsanzira (G Mbweti 87), A Sadiki, A Eonde
Bulawayo Chiefs: D Bizabani, S Nyahwa, M Majika (A Musiyiwa 85’), M Mkolo (C Machisi 85’), A Tandi, T Muzuva, G Mleya, F Matare (S Mhlanga 56’), S Ngala, P Chikwende, S Dube