Langton Nyakwenda in ZVISHAVANE
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
Caps United . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
BATTLES between these two childhood friends, who grew up in the same neighbourhood in Chitungwiza, are usually emotionally supercharged and this one was no exception.
Norman Mapeza was animated as usual on the FC Platinum touchline while Lloyd Chitembwe was vigorous as ever, also showing his temperamental side.
The boiling point of this latest edition of the FC Platinum versus Caps United contest came in the 75th minute when Makepekepe were denied what looked like a genuine goal by assistant referee Edgar Rumeki.
Rumeki flagged John Zhuwawo offside in a goal mouth melee.
Zhuwawo’s effort went in off the cross bar but referee of the day Pedzisai Chadya disallowed the goal, basing his decision on Rumeki’s signal.
Chitembwe stormed out of his technical box and charged towards the fourth official to express his anger.
The Caps United gaffer was still a disappointed man after the final whistle as he felt his side’s goal should have stood.
“I thought it was a goal but the way we see things is different. Probably this goal wasn’t meant to be official.
“But all the same I am happy with the way my boys applied themselves. They fought hard and what matters most is that we got a point,” Chitembwe said.
Caps United have now gone for 270 minutes without scoring while defending champions FC Platinum have also gone for the same number of minutes without a win.
Mapeza’s Pure Platinum Play are yet to win in the second half of the season.
The Zvishavane miners, who moved to 46 points after yesterday’s draw, have dropped seven points in their last three matches and could see their lead at the top cut to two points should second placed Ngezi Platinum Stars beat Dynamos at Rufaro today.
Mapeza, who hasn’t won against Chitembwe’s Caps United since taking over at FC Plaitnum on August 11, 2014, was however happy with what he called a point gained.
The former Warriors coach also felt yesterday’s contest was fair despite protests by the Caps United faithful, who felt the match officials were biased towards FC Platinum.
“I am happy with the draw, it (game) was played in a fair spirit. We always play for three points but we have to accept it (draw).
“This was a good game of football. Caps United played well but they created few chances,” noted Mapeza.
So riled with the refereeing were the Caps United officials that their chief executive officer Cuthbert Chitima lodged a complaint with the Match Commissioner just before half time.
Chitembwe is said to have told Chitima that assistant referee Rumeki had allegedly warned Caps United left back Valentine Musarurwa that he would fix his team after an exchange of words between the two.
Apart from the controversy, this was an exciting match which swung from one end to the other.
Zhuwawo connected a Brian Muzondiwa cross after 36 minutes but his effort missed the cross bar during a first half that Caps United dominated.
Mapeza responded by throwing in Thomas Chideu in the 46th minute and the former Young Warriors striker tormented the Makepekepe defence, which featured Methiod Mwanajali who was making his 2018 debut.
Caps United skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi also played 90 minutes and fared well.
In the end, Mapeza and Chitembwe hugged after the final.
After all, they are close buddies!
Magalane, R. Muduviwa, G. Bello, K. Moyo, E. Moyo, W. Mhango, N. Tigere (G Mbweti 81 mins), F. Madhanaga, M. Mudehwe (T Chideu 46 mins), R. Chinyengetere, A. Sadiki (C Sibanda 76 mins)
P.Chigumba, S. Makatuka (C Munzambwa), M. Mwanjale, K. Nyamupfukudza, V. Musarurwa, C. Kamhapa, D. Mukandi, H. Zvirekwi, J. Ngodzo, B. Muzondiwa, J. Zhuwawo