By Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM moved seven points clear of Ngezi Platinum and closer to back-to-back Castle Lager Premier Soccer League titles when a first-half goal by the league’s top goal scorer Rodwell Chinyengetere gave them a narrow victory over Nichrut at Ascot Stadium on Saturday.
Reigning Soccer Star of the Year Chinyengetere’s 17th goal of the season was enough to secure FC Platinum all three points and edge closer to successive titles under Norman Mapeza with just four matches left in the campaign.
Chinyengetere, who has now scored in FC Platinum’s last seven matches showed his predatory instinct after reacting the quickest to tap the goal into the back of the net after a fumble by the Nichrut goalkeeper Tafadzwa Jabangwe in the box.
The goal took Chinyengetere’s season tally 17 goals, surpassing last year’s Golden Boot winner Dominic Chungwa’s 16 goals last season for CAPS United.
More importantly the victory moved FC Platinum on to 68 points with four matches remaining; seven more than Ngezi who were held to a goalless draw by Chapungu at Baobab Stadium yesterday.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was pleased with the result but believes there is still some work to be done as his side close in on their second successive Premiership crown.
“We planned to bring a positive result from Gweru and I am that is what we managed to achieve,” Mapeza told reporters.
“We played well and like I have always said it is a marathon that we hope to finish on a high….What matters now is mental strength and focus because the hurdle ahead of us is big.”
His counterpart William Mhazo conceded that his side had lost to a better side on the day but vowed that his team which dropped to 14th position on the log following the defeat, would not be relegated.
“We fought well and had it not been for that goalkeeping mistake, we could have salvaged a point today but credit to FC Platinum they deserved their win. The remaining games will not be easy but I am confident that we will survive relegation,” said Mhazo.
Meanwhile, in another match played at Nyamhunga Stadium in Kariba, Harare giants CAPS United’s winless run in the league stretched to five consecutive matches after suffering a 1-0 defeat to ZPC Kariba on Saturday.
Mid-season signing David Temwanjira scored the solitary goal in the 18th minute to secure all three points for the hosts.
At Luveve Stadium, Premiership debutants Bulawayo took a giant step towards surviving relegation after edging former champions Chicken Inn to move three points clear of the relegation.
A second-half effort by Gracious Mleya ensured Bulawayo Chiefs registered their first win in six league matches while also upstaging their more fancied opponents who were on a three-game unbeaten run.
Mleya scored the solitary goal of the match in 48th minute, heading in Shadreck Nyasha’s cross.
Castle Premier League results and fixtures
Saturday: ZPC Kariba 1-0 CAPS United, Ngezi Platinum 0-0 Chapungu, Nichrut 0-1 FC Platinum, Chicken Inn 0-1 Bulawayo Chiefs
Sunday: Mutare City Rovers v Yadah (Vengere), Dynamos v Black Rhinos (Rufaro), Triangle v Herentals (Gibbo), Highlanders v Bulawayo City (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Harare City (Maglas)