By Ray Bande
DEFENDING champions FC Platinum will not give away their title without a fight right to the very end.
The Zvishavane miners are battling to win three straight league championships and beat Manica Diamonds 2-0 at Vengere yesterday to shoot back to the top.
The result cheered FC Platinum coach, Lizwe Sweswe, who was forced to publicly apologise for his team’s shock defeat at the hands of Bulawayo Chiefs.
Irate fans blocked his vehicle, as he was about to leave Mandava, unhappy with the defeat at the hands of the Amakhosi.
Yesterday, the home team started on the offensive with deadlocked midfielder Last Jesi casing a number of anxious moments for the visitors.
However, it was FC Platinum who took the lead when Gift Mbweti tapped into a yawning net in the 16th minute.
The Manica Diamonds backline had failed to deal with a low cross from exciting winger Guvye Nsiali.
The hosts had a fine chance to level terms six minutes after the break when FC Platinum”s Gift Bello handled just outside the box.
But Jesi’s screamer was parried to safety by impressive FC Platinum goalminder Francis Tizayi.
It was clear the home team badly missed veteran defender Partson “Yellow” Jaure.
In the 73rd minute Rodwell Chinyengetere roasted his marker and then fired home from inside the box to extend the visitors’ lead.
“I think we played well and got the result we wanted,” said Sweswe. ”The boys were disciplined both in attack and defence.
”That is exactly what we wanted and it paid off.
“I think the race is now wide open. This result gives us hope that we can still win the title.
”We just have to keep fighting to win the remaining matches and hope results from other matches will work in our favour.”
Manica Diamonds gaffer Johanisi Nhumwa, is still confident they will survive relegation.
He bemoaned the absence of Jaure who is in camp with the national team.
“We still have everything to fight for. We still have four games to play and we know we will get points from some of the matches.
”We are confident that we will survive relegation.
“It is sad that we missed Partson Jaure. He is a leader on field. Even the second goal we conceded it was because of a blunder by a player who came on to replace Jaure,” he said. The Chronicle