Ngezi Platinum Stars -(1)2
FC Platinum -(0)0
By Innocent Muchichomi in Turf Village, Mhondoro
- Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Takesure Chiragwi advised his team not to be complacent as they were merrily celebrating climbing to the top of Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer League log after thumping FC Platinum 2-0 in a derby fought on Sunday at Baobab Stadium in Turf Village, Mhondoro Ngezi.
Tinotenda Murasiranwa and Takunda Benhura scored on either side of the half to grant Ngezi bragging rights in this platinum duel.
Buoyed by a boisterous territorial bumper crowd, Ngezi affectionately nicknamed “Madamburo” announced they were gunning for nothing short of victory as they probed the Zvishavane-based Fc Platinum rearguard from the onset.
The rural Mhondoro miners could have scored in the infantry stages of he game after FC Platinum goalie Francis Tizayi fumbled to grip a harmless-looking shot but thanked Marvellous Mukumba for not quickly pouncing on the spill.
After relentlessly bombarding Fc Platinum’s goal area, Murasiranwa got the breakthrough in a melee complimenting a searching free-kick flighted from the right flank in the 35th minute.
The goal was a bitter pill to swallow for FC Platinum players as they mobbed the referee harshly protesting.
Noticing the unbecoming behavior of his players, FC Platinum gaffer Norman Mapeza intervened and doused his lads’ tempers before the match progressed.
Questioned in a post-match interview why he marched into the field of play, Mapeza said he solely got there to encourage his team to concentrate on the game and keep on playing.
“It’s not good at the end of the day but there is nothing I can do.
“If I did not go there maybe we don’t know what was gonna happen.
“This is the second time that I’m going on the pitch to say to the guys please let’s keep playing.
“I don’t know what transpired but I think the guys got so emotional and it disturbed our game plan completely.
“From that moment my guys lost it and I told them in the dressing room that they need to control their emotions,” said Mapeza.
Shortly after the breather, Ngezi Stars’ developmental product Benhura launched a cracker that deflected from the leg of a defender and nestled in the roof despite that Tizayi had attempted to punch it over the bar.
After the final whistle, Mapeza admitted that Ngezi deserved the victory but denied that his reign of terror era is coming to an end.
“Congratulations to Ngezi.They deserve the points. They wanted it more than us.
“I’m not worried about losing. This is just a phase. It will come to pass.
“I can not talk of an era. I’m not God. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow.
“This is not the 34th game. We still have more games ahead.
“Games will be won and games will be lost.”
While the win consolidates Ngezi’s remarkable backyard performance and ensures they remain unbeaten in the league so far, Chiragwi who ran out of superlatives to describe his side’s exhibition emphasized o tne need for consistency in this race
“We did well where we wanted to diffuse the strength of Fc Platinum.
“We know they play a passing game like us so we said we need to avoid them playing so that we can press high and managed to do that hence we risked by thrusting all the youngsters into attack and it paid dividends.
“The combination was fantastic.
“But, we don’t need to celebrate because we have beat Fc Platinum. No.
“The season is a marathon so what is important is to keep on doing well and keep on winning. Consistency is vital because there are a lot of games to play.
“We now shift our focus to Bulawayo where we are going to play Chicken Inn next weekend.”
Out of the nine games played to date, Ngezi has won four, drew five, and lost none.