By Sports Reporter
THE hyped Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash between FC Platinum and Dynamos failed to live up to expectations after the two giants settled for a goalless draw at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.
Despite the share of the spoil Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya was the happier of the two coaches after watching his new signings put on a good show on their debuts.
Ndiraya handed starting berths to five new signings, Ralph Kawondera, Evans Katema, Keith Murera, Brandon Mpofu, Emmanuel Paga while Issa Sadiki was introduced as a second half substitute.
His gamble appeared to have paid off as his charges almost took an early lead in the third minute when one of the new acquisitions Katema connected Emmanuel Paga’s cross, only to be denied by Petros Mhari from a close range.
The Glamour boys kept pressing and Patson Jaure could have drawn first blood after 24 minutes when he found himself in an offensive position following a counterattack but produced a tame effort in a one on one situation.
The home side, FC Platinum had their first meaningful chance after 40 minutes through Gift Mbweti but his attempted volley went over the bar.
The second half got off to a cagey start before the match was halted for almost four minutes, after some clashes between FC Platinum and Dynamos supporters led to missiles being thrown on the field of play.
While both sides appeared content with a draw for long periods in the second half, the best opportunity of the match fell to Thando Ngwenya in the 79th minute when he blasted over the bar a low cross that from Oscar Bhebhe, with Timon Mvula in goal for DeMbare at his mercy.
The scoreline remained unchanged, as the two sides shared the spoils.
Ndiraya was impressed by his new signings.
“I am happy with this performance. Now this is a different Dynamos you have seen. The team is at its best probably for the first time in many years.
“We have been at the receiving end of them in recent times but we are slowly changing the script. Last time we won and this time we took a point which makes me happy as the coach,” Ndiraya said.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was also satisfied with the point as he continues his rebuilding phase after the Zvishavane club offloaded several senior players.
“The result was fair as far as I am concerned. We could have done better but we did not get as many chances today because we are still trying to have our solidity back, with new players, most of the young, coming to join the team,” Mapeza said.
“There is still room for improvement and I can’t complain after getting a point which is better than losing. We lost the first match since coming from the break and this should be a good starting point as we move forward.”
Castle Lager Premiership Results and Fixtures
Saturday: FC Platinum 0-0 Dynamos, Chicken Inn 2-1 Bulawayo Chiefs, Yadah 0-0 Black Rhinos
Sunday: Highlanders v WhaWha (Barbourfields), Herentals v Manica Diamonds (National Sports Stadium), Cranborne Bullets v ZPC Kariba (Baobab), Tenax v Bulawayo City (Sakubva), Triangle v Harare City (Gibbo)
Monday: CAPS United v Ngezi Platinum (National Sports Stadium)