By Sports Reporter
CHAMPIONS FC Platinum moved to the top of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League for the first time this season following a 2-0 win over bogey side Hwange at Mandava on Saturday, a day that saw fellow title chasers CAPS United continue with their sublime start to the season with a comfortable victory over Black Rhinos at Rufaro Stadium.
New Signing Gabriel Nyoni, without a goal for his new side since joining from Highlanders before the start of the season, opened the scoring for Makepekepe with a fine close range finish at the stroke of halftime.
CAPS United were hardly troubled by Black Rhinos in the second half and they increased their lead a minute before full time through midfielder Blessing Sarupinda who scored against his former team after being set up by second half substitute Newman Sianchali.
With seven points in three matches, CAPS United are now fifth on the log standings, three points behind log leaders and defending champions FC Platinum.
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe said he was impressed with his players’ ability to put into practice what they had prepared ahead of the tie.
“I thought this was one game that we really produced the things that we normally work on at practice and it makes me happy,” Chitembwe told reporters after the match.
“In the first half, we couldn’t find range very well, the supporting angles were not so good even the distances we were either too narrow or too wide apart but later on in the second half I thought everything was perfect and I am happy,” he said.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum, who are chasing their third successive PSL title, went to the top of the log with a crucial win over Hwange.
Hwange, who came into the match with a 100% record after winning their first three matches, put a spirited first half but had nothing to show for it after Farai Madhananga gave FC Platinum the lead with a header from Ali Sadiki’s curling corner kick in the 34th minute.
After weathering the Hwange storm early in the second half, FC Platinum increased their lead in the 81st minute courtesy of a well-executed free kick by Never Tigere.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said although his side did not play their normal game, he was delighted that they still managed to collect maximum points.
“We won but we struggled a bit today. We were not our usual selves today. Nothing really was happening for us today.
“We did not do anything special but at the end of the day, it’s about character which the boys showed and we managed to get two goals. I cannot take away anything from Hwange; they are a good side judging from their last three games. However, for us it is about collecting points and remaining consistent throughout,” he said.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Results and Fixtures
Friday: Yadah FC 0-0 TelOne, Bulawayo Chiefs 0-1 ZPC Kariba, Ngezi Platinum 1-0 Chicken Inn
Saturday: Black Rhinos 0-2 CAPS United, FC Platinum 2-0 Hwange
Sunday: Chapungu v Harare City (Mandava)
Monday: Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds v Mushowani (Gibbo), Highlanders v Triangle (Babourfields)