FC Platinum in seventh heaven

MapezaMukudzei Chingwere in Gweru
AN over half-a-century long domination was brought to a screeching halt in just over five minutes.

The wait for a team outside the country’s two big cities — Harare and Bulawayo — to land the coveted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League crown was finally ended when Zvishavane-based side FC Platinum at long last wrestled the trophy from the metropolitan.

The miners came into Saturday’s duel against provincial rivals Chapungu knowing that a victory of whatever margin will be enough to bring the title to the mining town of Zvishavane for the first time and leave the most decorated team in the land — Dynamos — drowned in the sorrows of defeat. Dynamos were waiting in ambush to pounce if FC Platinum failed to handle the weight of pressure, like they did in 2011 and was the case to the duo of ZPC Kariba and Harare City who also crumbled under pressure from DeMbare in the ensuing seasons.

But the 51-year-old metropolitan authority was brought to an abrupt end in just five minutes with a devastating start to the confrontation by Pure Platinum Play at Ascot on Saturday.

Veteran forward Rodwell Chinyengetere hit the ground running with a third minute opener and Ali Sadiki added gloss to the scoreline with an eight minute conversion to ensure the crown comes to Midlands.

So improbable was the victory that the winning coach Norman Mapeza, was uncharacteristically calm for a championship winning gaffer, the mentor who usually animates on the touchline urging his players on and on could not believe that he was the champion again as a coach for the second time, following his 2008 success with Monomotapa. Asked why he was aberrantly calm at his otherwise finest hour, Mapeza did not hide, and said “I am shocked,” to have won the trophy.

So valuable was the trophy to Mapeza that he had to halt his post-match interviews with members of the fourth estate to instruct the team marshals to protect the trophy which had fallen prey to their euphoric supporters.

“Iwe! Inotyoka, inotyoka (hey they will crack it, they will crack it),” he said appearing to be signalling the marshals to protect the trophy from the huge numbers that wanted to place their hands on the trophy.

In the build-up to the final stages of the campaign, the miners’ executive had said the push for their maiden crown was no longer an effort of the technical department and players alone but was now a collective effort.

And on the final day they responded by coming in their huge numbers to help the team surpass their final hurdle.

Article Source: The Herald