The Sunday Mail
Mukudzei Chingwere in Zvishavane
FC Platinum ………………………………….0
AS Otoho ………………………………………0
Aggregate score 1 – 1
FC Platinum progresses on away goals
FC PLATINUM made it to the CAF Champions League group stage but reports of a altercation between coach Norman Mapeza and defender Gift Bello had the club’s bosses burning the midnight oil. Mapeza is said to have assaulted Bello, who was ineligible for yesterday’s clash, after allegedly being irked by the defender’s drunken stupor.
While keeping a close eye on the matter FC Platinum bosses last night confirmed that investigations had been launched in earnest.
“We have mechanisms to investigate and deal with the alleged matter and those mechanisms have begun spinning,” said the club.
Suspended for accumulating consecutive cautions Bello, a member of FC Platinum’s higher hierarchy was not in the matchday squad and jumped from the terraces at the final whistle to join his partying teammates after a historic achievement.
Mapeza then charged and clapped him in full glare of supporters and the media.
The defender was then manhandled out of the playing field by the team’s marshals at the instruction of Mapeza.
On his way to the dressing room; Mapeza called the club’s secretary General Benson Wirimai and said, “You can have him; I no longer want him in my team.”
Wirimai did not respond.
The miners came into the match needing either a goalless stalemate or a win of any margin to progress into the money spinning mini league stages.
Pure Platinum Play now join the likes of Dynamos, CAPS United and the defunct Monomotapa as the only Zimbabwean teams to play in the mini league of the African Safari.
Big former Warriors defender Lawrence Mhlanga produced a five-star performance to thwart the long balls pumped in by the Congolese. Although the overall performance of the team was exceptional, Mhlanga and midfield sentinel Kelvin Madzongwe were outstanding.
Mapeza had told the press before this fixture that he was not sure of the way the opponents play after being denied a conducive environment in the first leg played in Congo.
Coming into the pressroom Mapeza had another altercation with the visiting marshals, but calmed down long enough to express his excitement with the result.
“It is a massive achievement for me as a coach and the entire FC Platinum family; we really worked hard for this, as no one gave us a chance.
“I am just short of words, with God everything is possible,” said Mapeza.
“I think we defended very well today, there was a time I thought the legs were gone but they kept on pushing,” said Mapeza.
Prior to that Otoho had quickly come out guns blazing and took the match to the host from the outset.
After twenty minutes of action; departing forward Rodwell Chinyengetere sliced in a perfect pass towards Gift Mbweti but the latter missed the target with an exposed keeper to beat.
On the stroke of halftime, Alou Bagayoko tried from range but his effort was again wide off Mhari’s goal.
Five minutes after the breather Cabwey Kivutuka got behind the FC Platinum backline but lacked accuracy pushing his effort wide.
The miners wasted a glorious chance to take a lead after 68 minutes when the opposition goalkeeper spilled the ball and the host’s reaction was very slow.
Otto have failed to make it to the group stages following their demotion at the last hurdle and will now play in the unfashionable CAF Confederation Cup.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, E Moyo, R Muduviwa, W Stima, L Mhlanga, K Madzongwe, D Chafa, F Madhanaga (R Pavari 85’), G Mbweti, R Chinyengetere, L Nhamo (R Kutsanzira 48’)
AS Otoho D’oyo: C Mohikola, T Ngounga, F Ngoma, L Bakima, F Ondongo, G Kamboleke, C Kivutika (M Yedan 82’), C Cisse (M Wamba 70’), A Bagayoko (M Botamba 73’), D Bissiki, M Konte