Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC PLATINUM midfield enforcer and Soccer Star of the Year finalist favourite Winston Mhango says they are fully aware of what is at stake when they take on Chapungu in the season ender at Ascot Stadium this afternoon.
The platinum miners need an outright win over fellow Midlanders to land their maiden league title regardless of the other result at Rufaro Stadium where Dynamos take on Chicken Inn in a tricky encounter that might actually go either way.
Mhango said failure to win this afternoon will be a big disappointment given that they have only lost two games this season.
“We know what is at stake. The most important thing is to remain focused and come up with a positive result because if we fail to win this game everything we would have done throughout the season will just go to waste,” said Mhango during a press conference on Thursday.
If they emerge winners, FC Platinum will join St Pauls as the second team from outside Harare or Bulawayo to win the league title. St Pauls were crowned national champions in 1966 after beating Bulawayo Rovers 5-4 on aggregate. The two sides had topped their respective regional leagues and played two legs to determine the national champions.
In the Northern Region, the top four sides were St Pauls, Salisbury Callies, B.S.A.P and Mangula while in the Southern Region it was Bulawayo Rovers, Wankie, Bulawayo Postals and Bulawayo Mashonaland, setting the stage for a two legged final between St Pauls and Bulawayo Rovers. The first encounter in Bulawayo ended 2-2 and the second leg at Glamis Stadium was a 3-2 win for St Pauls.
So 51 years later, FC Platinum are on course this afternoon to repeat that feat.
Norman Mapeza, the FC Platinum gaffer is also on course to write his own piece of history by becoming the first ever coach to win two league titles with two different clubs in Zimbabwe, having won his inaugural crown with Monomotapa as a 35- year old rookie in 2008, in which again Dynamos were the runners up.
Mapeza knows that this afternoon’s encounter is a massive engagement which is a must win.
“It’s a massive game and I don’t think we are here today by mistake, we have been working hard since the beginning of the season. I don’t think there is anything that will stop us from the championship, we just have to go to Chapungu and get a result, we know that if we draw and Dynamos win then we have lost it,” said Mapeza.
He ruled out complacency.
“I don’t think we can talk of complacency at this stage of the season because if we do we might lose it. If we go there with a negative approach we will sure come back empty handed, we need to go with a positive approach,” said Mapeza during the club’s press conference on Thursday.
End of season fixtures: Shabanie Mine v Yadah (Maglas Stadium), Harare City v How Mine (Rufaro Stadium), ZPC Kariba v Hwange (Nyamhunga Stadium), Tsholotsho v Black Rhinos (Dulivhadzimo Stadium), Bulawayo City v Bantu Rovers (Luveve Stadium), Ngezi Platinum v Triangle United (Baobab Stadium), Highlanders v Caps United (Barbourfields Stadium), Dynamos v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium), Chapungu v FC Platinum (Ascot Stadium). — @skhumoyo2000.
Article Source: The Chronicle