FC PLATINUM . . . . . . . (1)
HERENTALS . . . . . . . . . (0)
FC PLATINUM moved within touching distance of their fourth title on the trot after edging Herentals 1-0 in a very ill-tempered match played at Mandava stadium.
Infact, if both Dynamos and Chicken Inn lose their matches today the Zvishavane-based side will claim a record equaling fourth consecutive league championship.
Walter Musona was the toast of the day after scoring the solitary goal of the match, leaving them one win away from the title.
The defending champions were uncharacteristically cagey throughout the match but coach Norman Mapeza said they were precisely aiming for maximum points in the remaining games.
"We are aiming results in these final matches, just good results. That's what we are playing for," Mapeza said.
"Everything was just okay because we got what we came here for that is maximum points for us. We are aiming at good results only."
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Without a doubt, this pulsating encounter has set the podium for a potential thriller next weekend when they meet again in the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final.
FC Platinum began this one on the front-foot with in-form Walter Musona getting the first chance after three minutes.
The ex-Polokwane stars midfielder missed the target by inches with a powerful shot from close range.
Two minutes later Tafadzwa Jimu got Herentals' first chance when he was picked by a Prince Chama long pass but the former unleashed a tame effort as he emerged from the left flank.
Blessing Majarira also failed to beat goalie Wallace Magalane from close range on the 18th minute.
And while Herentals' goalie appeared to have been the less busier of the two goalkeepers, his main test of the first half came in the 41 minutes from a rasping free-kick which he tipped over the bar.
Blessing Majarira almost beat Magalane after poor communication with his defense but Rainsome Pavari cleared the lines.
And having soaked the pressure from the attack, the platinum miners broke the deadlock courtesy of Musona who easily poked the ball home, through goalie, Takudzwa Chikosi's legs.
From then on Herentals tried hard to equalize but it never worked out for them with coach Norman Mapeza strengthening his defenders following the introduction of William Stima and Gift Mbweti.
Herentals coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva accepted the defeat.
"We lost because of just one mistake on our part. It's not that FC Platinum did something special but one mistake cost us the result," he said.
"I'm happy with the spirit and the courage they continue showing. I hope we will show the same courage when we meet in the semi-finals next weekend.
"The next match will be exciting and I hope this rivalry will keep giving good football. I'm proud of my team."
FC Platinum: W Magalane, B Moyo, G Bello, L Mhlanga, K Mangiza, R Pavari, J Mutudza(G Mbweti 77'), B Banda, P Mutimbanyoka, W Musona, T Ngwenya (W Stima 90').
Herentals: T Chikosi, B Majarira, T Benza, B Majarira( E Mhungu 83') G Mukambi, T Jimu( C Mujuru 69'), I Benza( J Zhuwawu 46'), P Chama( D Marowa 69'), W Chimbetu, W Kapumha( C Gobvu 83'), L Ruguchu
Chicken Inn v Highlanders (Babourfields Stadium, 3pm)
Cranborne Bullets v CAPS United (Vengere Stadium, 3pm)
Triangle United v Yadah (Gibbo Stadium, 3 pm)
Dynamos v Whawha (National Sports Stadium, 3pm)