The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda in Zvishavane
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(1) 2
Harare City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(0) 1
FC PLATINUM capped off a fine season during which they were crowned league champions by overcoming Harare City to win the inaugural edition of the Castle Lager Challenge Cup in a captivating encounter at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
A blistering first half strike by man of the match, Soccer Star of the Year finalist Rodwell Chinyengetere and a simple tap in by seasoned striker Mkhokheli Dube was all FC Platinum needed to win the first edition of the match between the league champions and winners of the Chibuku Super Cup.
Substitute Kudakwashe Kumwala scored the consolation goal for Harare City just before the end of the match.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza described the encounter as a great game of football.
“It was a good game of football. First half I think we did well then second half I think we had some challenges dealing with those high balls. After we went two nil up I thought we looked a bit comfortable,” said Mapeza.
The championship winning coach felt that they have really worked hard this season which saw them being crowned champions for the first time in the club’s history and winning the Castle Challenge Cup was a huge reward from the Almighty for their sterling efforts.
“I’m happy for our fans, for our bosses and I am happy for the players as well. We have worked so hard this season and I think God is rewarding us for our hard work this season,” he said.
A distraught Harare City coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube however, put up a brave face after the match. And despite winning the Chibuku Super Cup, the Sunshine Boys were relegated from the PSL.
“Within 20 minutes we had two, three chances, we could have gone leading 2-1. In the second half we played very well but we conceded when perhaps we wanted to equalise and got a consolation goal at the wrong time,” Ncube said.
The contest started off at a high tempo with Dube sending his header wide off target with eight minutes played.
Chinyengetere gave the recently crowned champions the lead with 10 minutes on the clock. The former Warriors player was at the end of beautiful move with the ball fed to him by left back Elvis Moyo. Chinyengetere struck the ball with so much ferocity that Nyamupanedengu could do nothing but watch it go in on the far post.
Harare City were denied twice by the woodwork in the opening half. First Martin Vengesai outpaced the FC Platinum defence only for his strike to hit the upright in the 14th minute. With four minutes left in the first half, Takudzwa Chimwemwe also saw his effort come off the goalpost as Harare City searched for an equaliser. Dube doubled FC Platinum’s advantage in the 63rd minute when he scored off a rebound. This was after Nyamupanedengu had blocked Ali Sadiki’s shot at goal. With the Harare City defence taking time to clear the ball the veteran striker tucked the ball into the back of net.
Mapeza took out Winston Mhango with four minutes to go with the coach later revealing that the star midfielder was struggling with a groin injury.
Harare City scored a minute after and pressed forward looking for an equaliser. Mapeza’s men held on for a well deserved win.
It was such a magnificent sight when Pure Platinum Play were presented with their trophy in front of their home fans.
FC Platinum: Wallace Magalane, Gift Bello, Ian Nekati, Kevin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango(Amidu 86 mins), Rodwell Chinyengetere, Nqobizitha Masuku(Takwara 36 mins), Gift Mbweti( Bakacheza 62 mins), Ali Sadiki, Mkhokheli Dube
Harare City: Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Tendai Samanja, Edwin Madhanhanga, Martin Vengesai, Jerry Chipangura(Balakasi 54 mins), Peace Tshuma, Welcome Ndiweni( Kumwala 73 mins), William Manondo, Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Protasho Kabwe( Gaki 73 mins), Hastings Chapusha