Norman Mapeza

FC Platinum out to break 51-year-old record

 Fungai Muderere
IS it going to be Norman Mapeza’s FC Platinum or Dynamos who are under the tutelage of Lloyd Mutasa?

Wonder no more as the question will be answered on Saturday as the intriguing 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League action concludes.

FC Platinum are on the verge of writing a piece of football history when they travel to Gweru in their last game of the season.

FC Platinum will be crowned champions if they win while any other result will leave them banking on Chicken Inn to beat Dynamos or draw on the same day.

A Dynamos defeat or draw will automatically give FC Platinum the title regardless of what happens at Ascot.

Against that background, Tendai Chikuni, who is a former Platinum FC coach, finds himself in the spotlight.

“What I know is I will not be doing favours for any team,” he said.

FC Platinum could become the first team based outside Harare and Bulawayo to be crowned league champions since 1966. They are standing inline to break a 51-year-old record set by Murewa based St Paul Musami under the guidance of Father Anthony Edwards Davies.

No team outside the two biggest cities in the country has managed to achieve that feat so far.

In 2014, ZPC Kariba almost defied the odds but faltered at the last hurdle. They needed a draw in their last game against Caps United but lost 3-2, surrendering the title to Dynamos who lifted it for the fourth consecutive time.

Three years later, Mapeza’s men are finding themselves in a similar chase like that of ZPC Kariba. They are in a tight race with Dynamos who are only two points behind. They face Chapungu in a must-win final league match.

However, chances are high that FC Platinum will win the title considering the depth of their squad. Unlike ZPC Kariba who were to some extent lacking experience to contain the pressure of league deciders, the Mapeza-coached side have an advantage ahead of the fixture. The squad has experienced players such as Mkhokheli Dube, Takesure Chinyama, Ali Sadiki, Gift Belo, Elvis Moyo, Kelvin Moyo, and Charles Sibanda among others.

On the other hand, focus will be the relegation matrix.

Hwange, Harare City and Bulawayo City are not safe from relegation.

Harare City, the Chibuku champions, are third from bottom with 35 points and host How Mine at Rufaro while

Bulawayo City, who are a place above the Sunshine Boys, play Bantu Rovers at Luveve.

The Battle of Cities match between Highlanders and Caps United is on at Barbourfields Stadium.

Fixtures
Shabanie v Yadah FC (Maglas), Harare City v How Mine (Rufaro), ZPC Kariba v Hwange (Nyamhunga), Tsholotsho FC v Black Rhinos (Dulivhadzimo); Bulawayo City v Bantu Rovers (Luveve),  Ngezi v Triangle (Baobab), Highlanders v Caps United (BF), Dynamos v Chicken Inn (NSS), Chapungu v FC Platinum (Ascot)