BULAWAYO – Ali Sadiki rekindled FC Platinum’s title hopes when he scored a stunning winning goal against Highlanders to help his side move to within a point of Castle Lager Premiership log leaders Dynamos yesterday.
Sadiki rose from the bench in the second half before netting with a low long range strike that ensured maximum points for the platinum miners.
Dynamos, who drew 1-1 with ZPC Kariba, on Saturday are on 57 points with six games to go before the season ends.
Ngezi Platinum Stars, who beat Bulawayo City 1-0 on Saturday, are joint second also on 56 points.
Pure Platinum Play coach Norman Mapeza was happy with the win over the hosts.
“It’s exactly what happened last season, they scored first and we won 2-1,” Mapeza said.
“The guys worked hard, it was not an easy game for us.
“We came here looking for a positive result and I am happy we are going back to Zvishavane with a positive result.”
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay was disappointed with the loss.
“First half we had our chances to score more than one goal,” Akbay said.
“We gave them too much space in midfield and all we did was more of defending. Overall it was not a bad game. We lost 2-1 and I am disappointed because of the loss.”
FC Platinum dominated play in the early stages of the match and they had more ball possession.
The visitors were relying more on build ups from the back while the home team resorted to sitting back and attacking on the counter.
Highlanders opened the scoring 23 minutes into the match through Simon Munawa.
The midfielder scored from a rebound after his header off a Godfrey Makaruse cross was punched back into play by goalkeeper Wallace Magalane.
FC Platinum equalised eight minutes before halftime through Mkhokheli Dube.
Bret Amidu dispossessed Tendai Ngulube inside the centre circle and made a solo run towards goal.
He sent in a through ball for Dube who hit the roof of the net with a first time left footer.
In the second half, FC Platinum continued to pressurise Bosso and they started to play some purposeful football in search of a winner.
Kelvin Moyo almost grabbed a winner for Platinum 72 minutes into the match when his effort off a Sadiki free kick from the right side shaved the cross bar before going out for a goal kick.
Sadiki scored the winner 11 minutes before full time with a scorcher from outside the penalty box when Highlanders defenders failed to properly clear the ball out of danger.
Substitute Allan Gahadzikwa almost equalised for Highlanders three minutes later with a header off a Brian Banda free kick.
His effort was punched out for a corner by Magalane.
Highlanders: Nedrick Madeya, Bukhosi Ncube, Rahman Kutsanzira, Simon Munawa, Godfrey Makaruse (Brian Banda 67m), Peter Mudhuwa, Tendai Ngulube, Honest Moyo (Ray Lunga 85m), Erick Mudzingwa, Gabriel Nyoni (Allan Gahadzikwa 47m), Ralph Matema
FC Platinum: Wallace Magalane, Ian Nekati (Raphael Muduviwa 77m), Gift Bello, Kevin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Winston Mhango, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Bret Amidu, Mkhokheli Dube, Hillary Bakacheza (Ali Sadiki 68m), Hamadzashe Moyo (Takesure Chinyama 57m)