26 November 2017 04:50
FC Platinum have been crowned the Zimbabwe Premier League champions, after beating Chapungu 2-0 away from home on the final day of the season, Saturday at Ascot Stadium in Gweru, becoming the first side in the modern era of the league outside Harare and Bulawayo to win the coveted title.
Historically, only St Paul's Musami achieved this feat of being title winners from outside the two biggest cities in Zimbabwe.
For coach Norman Mapeza, this is his second league title after he won with the now defunct Monomotapa in 2008.
Mapeza now joins a league of achievers who have won two or more league titles, as Rahman Gumbo, Sunday Chidzambwa and Kalisto Pasuwa, who won four in a row with Dynamos from 2011 to 2014.
Playing in Gweru, more than 120km from their Zvishavane base, a five minute two goal opening blitz was all that the miners needed to seal the title.
Rodwell Chinyengetere blasted home after three minutes and barely had the dust settled and fans returned to their seats five minutes later that Ali Sadiki added the second to make it 2-0.
From there Mapeza changed tactics, crowded the midfield and solidified his defence to plug all leaks and suffocate any hopes of a Chapungu comeback.
The win was enough for FC Platinum to win the diadem ahead of rivals Dynamos, who also beat Chicken Inn 1-0 at home. Dynamos finished on 70 points, two shy of FC Platinum who lost just two games all season.
“We have been waiting for this day. We needed to get early goals. After getting them we needed to concentrate. It’s always difficult to take what people say, when you sign players. I was under pressure to bring glory to the club when I joined and today we did it,” an elated Mapeza said after the coronation.
FC Platinum will represent Zimbabwe in next year’s Total CAF Champions League.