Black Rhinos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)1
MICHAEL MADYIRA in Kadoma
NORMAN Mapeza gave the strongest indication that he could be the saviour FC Platinum have been searching for after inspiring his side to edge Black Rhinos in a league match at Rimuka Stadium yesterday.
Although it was a low-scoring afternoon marked by substitute Obrey Chirwa’s late goal, the way FC Platinum turned around the game in the second half was a reflection of the former Warriors coach’s tactical acumen.
Barking instructions from the touchline and drawing attention of the Rimuka VIP enclosure, Mapeza had full grip on the players with his authority being translated into a good second-half showing.
It was the coach’s second win in as many games and the result ended Rhinos’ four-match unbeaten streak in the league.
The platinum miners, however, remained on sixth position with four points from the top.
“I do not want to put myself under pressure. We are just taking each game as it comes and hopefully end the season on a respectable position. I am happy the players are slowly adjusting to my type of play,” said Mapeza.
Rhinos were slowly building Rimuka as a territory not to tread on, but they slumped back into the relegation zone as FC Platinum banished that home invincibility.
It was coach Jostein Mathuthu’s first loss since taking over as Rhinos coach. His side wasted numerous chances in the opening half.
“We should have scored all chances that came our way in the first half, but we failed to do that,” said Mathuthu.
“In football you do not always win. Sometimes you draw or lose and that is what has just happened. But we hope to do better in the next game.”
Rhinos nearly took the lead as early as two minutes into the match, but Wonder Kapinda missed a Lot Chiwunga low cross from the right.
Three minutes later, Chiwunga shrugged off Aaron Katebe’s challenge, but was denied by FC Platinum’s Francis Tizai in a face-to-face situation.
Tizai again saved his side from a clever lob by Milton Kureva.
The visitors’ first attempt at goal was late into the first half as Donald Ngoma broke clear, but shot wide at acute angle.
FC Platinum took control of play after the restart with their relentless attack earning them two free-kicks just outside the box where Qadr Amini hit the post from, before forcing a desperate save from Rhinos goalkeeper Samuel Mafukidze.
Daniel Veremu blasted wide while facing Mafukidze after being fed by Ngoma just after the hour mark in what was arguably the miss of the game.
Employing three forwards all afternoon, the platinum miners were a real threat in the second half although their finishing was not as accurate.
The defining moment came five minutes to full time when Chirwa shot from the edge of the box an Amini assist.