BLACK RHINOS . . . (0)
FC PLATINUM . . . . .(0)
EARLY pacesetters Chicken Inn missed on a chance to extend their lead at the top of the premiership log table after they were held by Harare City in an enthralling match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
It was a game that the Joey Antipas side could have easily lost.
Victory would have seen them moving five points clear at the top ahead of Manica Diamonds versus Triangle clash today, two teams tied on second position with 13 points each.
In the end, the Bulawayo side had to contend with a point which moved them to 16 points, and could see them losing the pole position to Manica Diamonds if they can win at Sakubva Stadium this afternoon.
Antipas admitted it could had been worse against their bogey side, who were denied by the cross bar in the second half, while his goalkeeper Benard Donovan was forced into making some brilliant saves throughout
“We were after getting a positive result, but we can’t complain about the point because we were playing against a very good Harare City side. We had to work extra hard to grind that point. It was an open game, both sides did very well and unfortunately had no goals, but I would definitely give compliments to Harare City for putting up such a good show,” Antipas said.
The draw means Harare City now have seven points and their coach Taurai Mangwiro was disappointed by the result, but certainly not the performance of his boys.
“I want to give my boys credit for the manner in which they fought. It was largely an entertaining game in which both sets of players gave their best.
“But we would want to consider ourselves unlucky because we asked more questions and had fortune favoured us we could have easily won today,” Mangwiro said.
The draw also means Chicken Inn failed to equal their best record of 18 points from their opening seven matches, which they achieved in 2015, the year they went on to win the league title
At Sakubva, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza rued his players’ failure to convert their opportunities after watching his side being held to a goalless draw against Black Rhinos at Sakubva yesterday.
The result was a third draw for the Zvishavane-based side, who in the end were lucky to escape a defeat after surviving a late onslaught from Black Rhinos,
In the end Mapeza was left to reflect on another missed opportunity.
“We missed a lot of chances especially in the first half and in the second half as well and as a team we are creating a lot of chances, but we are not burying them,” he said
“We defended well late in the game when our opponents were coming on us,” he added
His counterpart Herbert Marowa was happy with the result.
“It was a good game and l am happy with the result, last week we won and today a draw it’s good result,” he said
FC Platinum dominated in the first half with Nigel Mukumbe and Panashe Mutimbanyoka dominating their opponents, but lacked the cutting edge in front of goal.
Farai Banda was instrumental in Rhinos’ defence as he thwarted a number of raids.
FC Platinum started the second half on a high note, but failed to utilise chances that came their way.
In the end they were almost punished with Rhinos’ veteran forward Lot Chiwunga heading wide in the 90th with Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari beaten.