By Don Makanyanga
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Erol Akbay is confident of his charges bouncing back into the title race despite watching them being held by FC Platinum Stars at Baobab yesterday.
Despite the match ending in a stalemate the Dutch coach lamented the chances which his side failed to utilise.
“We should have won the match in the first half but again we failed to convert some chances.
“I think this was a fair result, we had our chances and we failed to convert. They had their chances, they failed to convert but with this performance I think we will be back where we belong, that is at the top,” said Akbay.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was happy with the result insisting they are not under any pressure to defend the championship title for the second consecutive year.
“It’s been two years of non-stop football and I will say well done to the boys they did well.
“We still want to win the league and we cannot talk about a four-point gap now, maybe when we are left with three games,” said Mapeza.
The goalless draw became the fourth deadlock between the two sides in seven meetings in which FC Platinum have dominated, winning twice and losing once against their arch rivals.
Ngezi Platinum had an upper hand to equal the number of matches won but had Donald Teguru and Michael Charamba to blame as they failed to convert clear cut chances in either half.
Despite the game being a balanced affair Ngezi Platinum created numerous scoring chances with their first opportunity arriving as early as the third minute when Charamba came one on one with Francis Tizayi but the FC Platinum goalkeeper did well to save the day for the visitors.
Ten minutes later Tizayi was again called to action in another face to face situation action this time involving Teguru and again it was Tizayi who had the last laugh saving the pint-sized forward’s shot.
With the hosts more dominant, FC Platinum’s first opportunity came in the 23rd minute when Albert Eonde capitalised on a miscue back pass directed to Nelson Chadya by Xolani Moyo inside his own box but the Cameroonian failed beat the Ngezi goalkeeper from close range.
The champions finally began to make inroads into the hosts’ defence only for Devon Chafa to fail to convert twice in the 35th and 37th minutes.
After the breather Ngezi who seemed to have lost steam towards the end of first half came back re-energised but again it was Charamba and Teguru who let them down as they failed to find their range.
Ngezi Platinum Stars: N Chadya, P Moyo ,N Ketala, F Makarati, K Murera, X Moyo, B Mushunje, D Teguru, M Charamba, M Mushonga, D Teguru
FC Platinum: F Tizayi, Gift Mbwete, G Bello, K Moyo, E Moyo, K Madzongwe, F Madhanhanga, D Chafa, R Kutsanzira, A Sadiki, A Eonde. Sunday News.