Late strike extends FC Platinum lead

23 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Late strike extends FC Platinum lead

The Sunday Mail

Zimpapers Sports Hub

FORMER champions FC Platinum clinched a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Simba Bhora in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League top-of-the-table clash at Mandava Stadium yesterday to go four points clear at the top.

Substitute Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya scored with a minute of play remaining, as FC Platinum moved to 34 points from 16 matches, four points above Manica Diamonds, who are hosting Dynamos this afternoon.

FC Platinum, who were defending a dangerous free kick from one end, broke away after a clearance by Brian Kusinyera released Davison Marowa, whose cross was met by Ngwenya to score with his first touch.

The clash that pitted the log leaders against the third-placed visitors was the pick of action yesterday and seemed destined for a goalless result.

At Rufaro Stadium, super-sub Obriel Chirinda scored a second successive goal for Ngezi Platinum as they ended Herentals’ 10-match unbeaten run in the league.

Having sat out of Ngezi Platinum’s first 14 matches of the season after joining from Bulawayo Chiefs under controversial circumstances, Chirinda has now made two second-half appearances and scored on both occasions. Goals in either half by Takunda Benhura and Chirinda were enough to see the defending champions extend their unbeaten run to five games.

It was a game of two halves, which saw the first period having little goalmouth action while the second one saw both teams on the offensive more. It took half an hour for either side to have a shot on target when Takudzwa Chikosi, in goal for Herentals, saved a Moses Demera header.

Ngezi Platinum Stars finally broke the deadlock seven minutes before the break when Benhura tapped in a Walter Vuwa cross. Herentals came close to levelling matters five minutes before the break when Milton Chimedza blasted his effort over the bar.

Chimedza finally got it right on the hour mark when he converted from close range.

Ngezi Platinum Stars regained their lead 15 minutes before time when Chirinda beat an offside trap, just 10 minutes after his introduction. In a bid to extend their unbeaten run, Herentals coach Paul Benza was forced to make a tactical substitution 10 minutes from time, bringing out second-half substitute Godfrey Mukambi for attacking midfielder Stanley Murowe.

After the win, Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Takesure Chiragwi praised his team for being consistent. “I am happy with the consistency being shown by the team. Winning five games in a row and getting the goals is all we need and I am happy with how the team is playing,” he said.

Benza felt his charges played better in the second half and a draw would have been the best result. “It was a game of two halves in which I feel we played better in the second half and we deserved a point. We need to bounce back next week,” he said.

At Sakubva Stadium, newcomers Bikita Minerals did themselves a huge favour in their pursuit to survive relegation when they outplayed Chicken Inn and secured a convincing 2-1 victory.

Michael Charamba scored for Chicken Inn, while a header from Liberty Masveure and an own goal by Lincoln Mangaira gave Bikita Minerals the maximum points.

Bikita Minerals coach Arnold Jani thanked his players for a fine performance, while his opposite number, Joey Antipas, said they will continue fighting in the coming matches.

At Luveve Stadium, second-half goals from Lloyd Gwerina (56th minute) and Eriya Mafireyika (81st minute) gave TelOne a 2-1 win over bottom-placed newcomers Arenel Movers, who had taken a first-half lead through an eight-minute strike from Zibusiso Dambo.

At Nyamhunga Stadium, ZPC Kariba and Bulawayo Chiefs settled for a goalless draw.

PSL Results and Fixtures

Yesterday

Arenel Movers 1-2 TelOne

Bikita Minerals 2-1 Chicken Inn

FC Platinum        1-0 Simba Bhora

Herentals            1-2 Ngezi Platinum

ZPC Kariba          0-0 Bulawayo Chiefs

Today

CAPS United      v Chegutu Pirates (Rufaro)

Greenfuel           v Yadah (Greenfuel Arena)

Highlanders       v Hwange (Barbourfields)

Manica Diamonds           v Dynamos (Sakubva)

 

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