Save the champions. . . Mapping Mines Pure Platinum Again – Nehanda Radio


De Mukudzei Chingwere

Trailblazing FC Platinum secured a second consecutive Premier League title at Castle Lager Premier League in Maglas with two games to spare when coach Norman Mapeza added another penalty to his coaching profile.

Newboy Devon Chafa, who had already won the championship with Dynamos and CAPS United, moved up from the bench yesterday to take the FC Platinum title and ended hopes that his closest rivals would host a Houdini Act.

Mapeza has won three championships in his 46-year-old coaching career, having won his first chips ten years ago after leading Monomotapa to the 2008 crown.

The former captain and coach of Zimbabwe then wrote his own story last year when he became the first coach in more than five decades to lead a team from outside Harare and Bulawayo to the final prize in national football.

FC Platinum showed that their win last year was not by chance as it improved this season and sealed the second championship with a six-point luxury in two games of dispute.

They needed only a draw against their rivals Zvishavane, but Mapeza's men are unwilling to leave anything to chance and have ensured that they are crowned the kings of the national game with a win, the 23rd in 32 matches.

The miners kept their cool to seal a championship race that was reduced to a two-horse race between fellow Ngezi and Platinum miners.

Ngezi, under pressure to play against FC Platinum, fired coach Tonderai Ndiraya with five games remaining, but the attempt to get the game to the wire was difficult for the Mhondoro team.

The cherry was put on the cake when they had to be crowned league conquerors in the home of the fierce rivals Shabanie Mine, who were already downgraded from the elite division.

Shabanie had made a brave fight and that they missed several days of training never showed how they were intending to delay their rivals from winning the title.

His fans who dominated this lively contest honored the relegated miners with songs that are usually characterized by a funeral setting of Shona as if to bury this derby.

Shabanie's determination came to an end when series champion Chafa rose from the bench to score the important goal that secured the second title for his payers and an impressive sixth for the combative midfielder.

Chafa was part of the all-conquest team of coach Callisto Pasuwa, who won the title in four years, jumping from 2011-2014.

The former Eagles player also won the championship with CAPS United in 2016, before closing the sixth yesterday.

Unlike last year at Ascot, when FC Platinum won the first title that had to be decided on the last day, the time scenes at the Maglas were devoid of the pomp and glamor associated with being champions as if celebrating this success long ago .

Despite coming out on an honor return and hailing the FC Platinum fans at Maglas, Mapeza was calm on the final whistle and trying not to show any emotion.

"Yeah, we're done," he uttered a huge, deep sigh of relief at the start of his press conference after the game.

"If you look at the progression of the team, it has been like this since 2014, we were improving every season, last year we won on the last day, this time we did it missing two games for the end of the year.

"I told the players to let us advance to reach the 80-point mark, now we are 74 and we have won, but we still want to win our two remaining games," said Mapeza.

"It was not easy to get here needing two results, a win or a draw, but we did it in style, congratulations to the guys.

"It has not been easy since the beginning of the season to congratulate the boys, I want to greet the boys, the fans, the executive, the technical team and my family, who have been very supportive of this journey.

"But at the end of the day all the glory to God, if it were not for God, all this could not have been possible," Mapeza said.

Both sides struggled to resolve the duel but, as expected, it was Platinum FC that threatened more. Former Hwange striker Dom Mbweti scored in the 13th minute, but was disqualified by Biggie Temera, who was well positioned in the goal of Shabanie. Moments later, midfielder Raphael Muduviwa tried in quick succession to break the scoring with a free kick that was pushed by the goalkeeper of the team before he had a block blocked by the defense.

In the middle of the half-lap, Muduviwa ran the wing again, fighting on a cross towards Mkokheli Dube, but the striker's header was denied by an excellent goalkeeper's goal from Temera. After the respite, Shabanie Mine became more enthusiastic about her twelfth man singing to reunite them to preserve the integrity of the place.

Shortly after the hour mark, Maxwell Murimi fired range, but his effort was inches wide.

On the other hand, Farai Madhanhanga thought that he had managed to overcome the impressive Temera, but Peter Muzondo put his body at risk to deny heroically the load of the midfield.

But 14 minutes before full-time, Chafa secured the title back to Mandava, when he gave a powerful kick beyond the impenetrable Temera.

Shabanie Mine's coach, Alexio Sigion, was disappointed to lose, but was full of praise for his gruff accusations.

"This is a derby and we really wanted to win the game. We gave it all, unfortunately it was not our day.

"Congratulations to FC Platinum, they deserve to be champions. They have been doing well all season.

"Being this a derby, we did not want them to win the championship here, but unfortunately it happened in the other games, we will try to get good results to leave the Premier League with some dignity, but to be honest, I'm impressed with the effort. these boys, "Sigion said. The herald


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