ZVISHAVANE – Nelson Maziwisa scored the solitary strike as Tendai Chikuni registered his first win in his second spell as FC Platinum interim coach with a 1-0 victory over Black Rhinos at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.
This was Platinum’s first win in six matches after a bright start that saw them turn into early title contenders.
Chikuni took over the platinum miners on an interim basis following the resignation of tenant Chilumba earlier this month.
Chilumba returned to his native Zambia where he took over at Power Dynamos.
Yesterday’s win also comes on the backdrop of the appointment of Lloyd Mutasa as Platinum development coach.
Mutusa, who will work with Chikuni in the meantime, watched yesterday’s match from the terraces as he is still waiting for a clearance from his employers, the Zimbabwe Prison Services.
The platinum miners started the match on the offensive with wingers Charles Sibanda and Donald Ngoma causing problems for the Rhinos defence.
It came as no surprise when they surged ahead in the 16th minute through last season’s Golden Boot winner, Maziwisa, who headed in a cross from Ian Nekate.
The visitors were playing defensive game in the early stages hoping to hit Platinum on counter attacks but the move backfired as they conceded an early goal.
The home team upped the tempo were close to grabbing a second goal moments later when Ngoma’s shot was parried for a corner by Rhinos goalkeeper Hebert Rusawo.
The army side finally came out of its shells towards the end of the first half but forwards Lot Chiwunga and Brighton Mugoni failed to capitalise on the chances they created.
Ali Sadiki had a chance to increase the lead when he was allowed acres of space on the right but he shot over the bar just two minutes after the break.
In the 53rd minute, Platinum skipper Daniel Veremu hit the upright with a header off a Sadiki corner.
The home side, however, failed to increase their lead but we able to hold on for the win.
“I thank the players for playing to instructions because we need an early goal to relieve pressure off our shoulders,” Chikuni said after the match.
“It’s good that we have started winning because it’s going to bring back the morale in the team. We were not far off the mark but it was just a bad patch we were going through.”
Rhinos coach Arthur Tutani said: “It’s a dignified loss that’s all I can say considering that I’m trying to fuse in some young players into the team.” – Sports Writer