ZVISHAVANE: FC Platinum ascended to the summit of the Castle Lager Premiership league table with a convincing win in the enthralling Zvishavane derby against Shabanie Mine.
The Norman Mapeza-coached side’s climb to the top was aided by Dynamos` failure to collect maximum points against relegation-threatened Tsholotsho as the two teams shared the spoils at the National Sports Stadium.
Elsewhere, another championship chasing side, Ngezi Platinum were held to a one all draw by Chapungu at Ascot Stadium in Gweru.
Mapeza, who became the first coach at FC Platinum to reach a century of matches in charge, made two key changes in the second half, bringing in Gerald Takwara and Ali Sadiki for an ineffective pair of Bret Amidu and Hillary Bakacheza and that was the turning point in the match.
The first half had ended in a stalemate but the change by Mapeza breathed new life into Mapeza`s team and they deservedly took the lead from a quick counter attack with Rodwell Chinyengetere coolly slotting the ball past Shabanie Mine goalkeeper Petros Moyo.
Veteran striker Mkhokheli Dube scored his second goal in a row and his team`s second of the match to catapult the ambitious Zvishavane side to the top of the log standings.
An ecstatic Mapeza downplayed his team’s rise to the top of the table saying they were only focused on winning all their remaining matches.
“I am not worried about that; the most important win is keep fighting and see what happens come the end of the season.
“Our aim is to win to win all our remaining games,” said Mapeza.
He was however, quick to note that being log leaders will put his side under pressure as they would need to maintain the position.
The losing coach, Tendai Chiragwi, who is battling to save Shabanie Mine from relegation, said the mistakes made by his players cost them the three points.
“We made a mistake and it change the whole complexion of the game,” said a dejected Chiragwi.
He however, remained hopeful that the asbestos miners will survive relegation.