ZVISHAVANE – FC Platinum finally got their revenge over local rivals Shabanie Mine after Mitchelle Katsvairo’s earned Lloyd Mutasa’s men a narrow 1-0 victory at Mandava Stadium on Saturday.
Platinum, who lost the BancABC Sup8r final to the same opponents last month, maintained their slim chance of winning the league title with Saturday’s victory.
The platinum miners now have 45 points and sit in fourth place with three points behind log leaders Harare City, who beat Buffaloes on Saturday.
The Zvishavane derby lived up to expectations as the home side took the lead from the very first minute through their first attack.
Thabani Kamusoko won possession in the midfield and combine with Winston Mhango, who released Charles Sibanda on the left.
Sibanda’s cross was turned into an empty net by Katsvairo after the ball had evaded the entire Shabanie defence.
The platinum miners were able to hold on for the win and avenge that cup final loss and the league defeat in the reverse fixture.
After the match, FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa was ecstatic and was relieved to have guided his team to a derby victory.
"I’m very happy for the win because it’s good to win in a derby. The boys played well even though we failed to execute the chances that we created," said Mutasa.
Mutasa, however, played down the platinum miners’ title challenge saying they will take each game as it comes.
“We are not reading into the title fight because the destiny is not in our hands. We are waiting for other teams to see how they play and we are just concentrating on each game," he said.
As has become the norm in the last few months, the Shabanie Mine players refused to camp on the eve of yesterday’s match protesting over unpaid winning bonuses and allowances.
The asbestos miners are now in danger of going down as they are only three points above the relegation zone with four games to go before the season ends.
Chinda boys coach Luke Masomere was, however, putting on a brave face after yesterday’s defeat.
“We are not going down; it’s just a bad spell but we will bounce back. In fact we are aiming for a top eight finish,” said Masomere.
“We have problems and this has been affecting the players and our performance as a club. We are playing as a team not as a club because there is no executive to talk about.
“They are sabotaging the players making it difficult for them to perform to the best of their abilities."