The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda in Zvishavane
FC Platinum………………………………………………. 0
FC Platinum missed out on an opportunity to go on top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League when they were held to a goalless draw by Highlanders in a hard fought, entertaining battle at Mandava Stadium.
On a day when fellow title contenders Chicken Inn were in a 1-1 with Hwange in Bulawayo, two times in a row champions could have overtaken the Gamecocks and log leaders Caps United had they been victorious against Bosso.
Instead Lizwe Sweswe’s men remain third on the table with 53 points, the same with Chicken Inn. Caps United, in action against Yadah at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon still lead the pack with 54 points.
Sweswe was satisfied with the point with his feeling being that at least here was some form of gain than loss looking at the opposition they were facing.
“I think we will take the point. Its a point gained because we were playing a good team, they were playing very well,” Sweswe said.
With his team left with three matches before the end of the season, Sweswe believes what is key for them to be crowned champions for the third season in a row is to keep on accumulating the points.
Highlanders coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh, who is yet to taste defeat since he took over at the end of September was also content with getting a point away from home against what he described as an organised side.
“A draw is good against a professional team, very organised in everything they do, good players, 50-50 game,” De Jongh said.
The draw saw Highlanders move onto seventh spot on the log, with the same number of points as Black Rhinos but Bosso have a better goal difference. Chipembere are in action against Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon.
FC Platinum were in total control of the situation in the first half which saw Ariel Sibanda being the busiest of the two goalkeepers while Francis Tizayi was hardly involved in the action.
Gift Mbweti came close to scoring in the opening minute of the second half when his header came off the upright with Andrew Mbeba clearing out the danger.
Prince Dube, said to have made the journey from Harare to Zvishavane soon after the end of the Warriors match against Botswana had the best chance for Highlanders. The striker was put through but took too many touches with the ball and ended up guiding it over the line for an FC Platinum goal kick. Brian Banda tested Tizayi with a stinging strike from outside the box which the goalkeeper tipped over for a corner kick.
Never Tigere, just before he was replaced by Albert Eonde, had his effort saved by Sibanda.
Brian Banda tested Tizayi with a stinging strike from outside the box which the goalkeeper tipped over for a corner kick.
Platinum: F Tizayi, R Muduviwa, W Stima, L Mhlanga, T Chikore, D Chafa, R Pavari, R Chinyengetere, N Tigere( A Eonde 67 mins), G Nsiala.
Highlanders: A Sibanda, M Phiri, A Silla, B Banda, N Masuku, A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, M Ndlovu, P Makanda, P Dube, D Khumalo (Makaruse 72 mins).