<strong>FC Platinum............. (0) 3<br> Harare City............... (0) 1</strong></p>
ZVISHAVANE – Reigning champions FC Platinum shot to the top of the Castle Lager Premiership table for the first time this season following a convincing victory over stubborn Harare City at Mandava Stadium yesterday.
Second half goals by veteran Mkhokeli Dube, Edwin Madhananga and Rodwell Chinyengetere ensured the platinum miners picked up their fifth victory of the season to take their tally to 16 points, one better than Ngezi Platinum Stars, who face Shabanie Mine this afternoon at Maglas Stadium.
It was Harare City’s first defeat of the season and to their credit they became the first side to score against the reigning champions this season through a Raymond Uchena equaliser despite failing to hold on for at least a share of the spoils.
Harare City coach Mark Harrison, while bemoaning conceding soft goals, admitted his side lost to a better team.
“We were always going to lose someday and I’m glad it was against the best team in the league,” Harrison said after the match.
“Well, look, it was a lesson for us. We want to play and we were shown how to play today.
“You can’t give away goals like we gave away against the best team in the league.
“Against lesser teams you get away with it but against them you get punished. We gave away three shocking goals but at the same time I thought they were quicker to the second ball and even when they get the ball they were quicker on the ball.
“It was a little lesson for us today (yesterday) but as I said we want to play like platinum and there is no better way than that but it’s gonna take us time. We’ve been beaten by a better team.”
Yesterday’s victory was another chilling reminder by the reigning champions to their rivals of their intention to retain the league title they won last season for the first time in the team’s history.
The game was probably one of the best matches of this season as both teams displayed some entertaining passing and attacking football.
The first half belonged to the home side as they created several scoring opportunities and with a bit of luck and precision could have gone to the break at least with three goals in the bag after the lively Ali Sadiki, Dube and the Cameroonian Albert Eonde all came close only to be denied by the impressive City keeper Maxwell Nyamupanedengu.
City had their chances too through Martin Vengesai and Takudzwa Chimwemwe, who were both denied by brilliant saves from Platinum goalkeeper Francis Tizayi.
It, however, took the home side four minutes after the break to find the opener through Dube, who got to the end of a Jameson Mukombwe cross on the right side after the City defence went to sleep.
The Sunshine Boys responded on 63 minutes when Uchena tapped in a Tendai Samanja attempt at goal after the home side’s defence struggled to deal with a Chimwemwe corner kick.
But City’s celebrations were cut short as the home side regained their lead two minutes later through Madhananga’s header.
The former Harare City player connected a Gift Mbweti cross albeit in contentious circumstances as he appeared to be offside when the ball was crossed.
Gwanda-based referee Nkosana Nduna allowed the goal to stand.
Chinyengetere then secured maximum points for the home side on 74 minutes when he poked home an Sadiki corner kick at the near post with City defenders once again ball watching.
After the match, FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe said: “I’m satisfied with the win. We knew their technical plan of starting from the back and we closed them high up there and got the goals.
“We knew they are a good side. They came here without a defeat and we knew they would give us a hard time.”