FC PLATINUM made a bold statement yesterday as they took defending champions Dynamos to the cleaners in an absorbing Castle Lager Premier Soccer League tie at Mandava.
Obrey Chirwa, in his first match after a proposed move to Denmark side Hobro IK fell through, scored a brace after former DeMbare man Gift Bello had opened the scoring with a beautiful header just six minutes into the match.
Bello, probably the shortest man on the park, rose majestically to direct an Elvis Moyo corner beyond Tatenda Mukuruva in goals for the visitors.
DeMbare bounced back five minutes later when Takesure Chinyama beat Petros Mhari after a delightful cross from Godknows Murwira.
Chinyama’s 11th minute goal cancelled out Bello’s opener but the goal seemed to galvanise the home side as Chirwa restored the lead on 30 minutes before icing a good day in office on 76 minutes.
The win took FC Platinum into second position with 41 points, five less than log leaders Chicken Inn, who beat ZPC Kariba 2-1 in Bulawayo yesterday.
The home side’s coach Norman Mapeza welcomed the win but was quick to point out that they will not be talking about winning the championship as yet.
I am pleased with the way the boys played, they played according to instruction. We are going to take each game as it comes and will not be carried away by this result and start taking about the championship, there are still a lot of matches to play.
“Only God knows our destiny,” he said.
The match attracted a full house despite the hike in charges from $3 to $5 for the cheapest ticket.
With the champions employing a 3-5-2 formation, FC Platinum looked dangerous, especially down the wings.
They could have restored their lead a minute after the Dynamos equaliser but Tatenda Dzumbunu spurned a good chance after being set up by Brian Muzondiwa.
However, Zambian import Chirwa — who is said to have failed to agree personal terms with Hobro IK – shot the home side back into the lead on the half hour mark, his powerful shot giving Mukuruva no chance.
Mapeza’s men emerged for the second half all fired up and Dynamos had Mukuruva to thank after the rookie goalkeeper kept them in the game with a brilliant save to deny Elvis Moyo on 47 minutes.
In a bid to add some attacking oomph, Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya pulled out a tiring Chinyama for Richard Kawondera but it was FC Platinum who continued to look dangerous with their quick passing game.
A subdued Rodreck Mutuma was yellow carded for continuously remonstrating against referee Brighton Chimene on 74 minutes.
Two minutes later, Chirwa put the game beyond the champions with his second of the afternoon.
Ndiraya conceded defeat.
“FC Platinum played well, they showed more hunger than us,” he said.
“But it must be noted that we conceded soft goals. We allowed a free header and for the second our defenders gave Obrey too much room to shoot and the keeper was badly positioned. On the third again we were poor at closing down.
“This is a dent on our quest to retain the league title but we are still in the race as there are still some games to play.”
FC Platinum: P. Mhari, K. Moyo, G. Bello, I. Nekati, T. Dzumbunu (S. Shoko 70 mins), G. Takwara, M. Mudehwe, E. Moyo, B. Muzondiwa, O. Chirwa (S. Sibanda 85 mins), W. Mhango
Dynamos: T. Mukuruva, G. Murwira, S. Linyama (M. Mambare 82 mins), E. Muroiwa, T. Mabvura, C. Rusere, R. Chitiyo, S. Alimenda, T. Chinyama (R Kawondera 68 mins), R. Mutuma (K. Bulaji 80 mins), O. Mwerahari