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Norman Mapeza feels Platinum heat

23/03/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Poor start to new season ... Norman Mapeza
 
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FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is under pressure to quickly turn things around at the Zvishavane side ahead of this Saturday’s Caf Confederation Cup, first round, second leg against Tanzania’s Young Africans at Mandava.

Platinum were mauled 5-1 in the first leg two weeks ago and were expected to bounce back in the opening week of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League on Saturday, but were forced to sweat for a 2-2 home draw against newly promoted Dongo Sawmills.

Dongo took the lead after seven minutes through Physwell Madhazi before Walter Musona levelled from the sport in the 24th minute.

The visitors then went ahead 10 minutes from time through Blessing Dzumbunu and it had to take the experience of Donald Ngoma to salvage a point for Platinum at the death, in a match they were easily expected to win.

And the frustration showed on Mapeza as he refused to grant post-match interviews to some journalists following criticism of last week’s defeat in Tanzania.

“I have always said any game is a pressure game and it was the same as this one. We did not underrate them (Dongo) at all. But we picked up a point from the match and we hope to do better in the next games,” Mapeza said.

Shadreck Magurasave, the Dongo coach, said he was happy with the point.

“There is nothing special about FC Platinum. We played in the same league and we are not here to make up the numbers,” he said.

Magurasave, though, is said to be headed to Mutare side Buffaloes.

He is employed by the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), the owners of Buffaloes who are without a coach after Moses Chunga quit two weeks back.

Last season, Platinum started with 1-1 away draw to then newly promoted Chiredzi FC, who were relegated at the end of the season.

Platinum were lucky to come up with a point as equally expensively assembled Harare City were humiliated 1-0 by new boys Tsholotsho FC at Rufaro on Friday.

But is this the kind of preparation Mapeza needed for Young Africans’ return leg? Certainly not. He has a week to restore confidence in his side and avoid a meltdown at home.

RESULTS

Friday: Harare City 0-1 Tsholotsho FC (Rufaro Stadium)

Saturday: FC Platinum 2-2 Dongo Sawmills (Mandava Stadium), Chicken Inn 2-0 Flame Lily (Luveve Stadium), Dynamos 3-0 Buffaloes (NSS), ZPC Kariba 2-0 Highlanders (Gwanzura Stadium)



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Sunday: Triangle United 5-2 Hwange (Gibbo Stadium), How Mine 0-0 Chapungu (Luveve Stadium), Whawha FC 1-2 Caps United (Ascot Stadium)





 
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