Four in a row: FC Platinum’s Castle Challenge Cup dominance continues
Without wasting much time during the season opener dubbed the Castle Challenge Cup tie, Norman Mapeza’s charges took an early lead through Panashe Mutimbanyoka’s 5th minute strike as they edged Bulawayo Chiefs 2-0 on Saturday at Mandava Stadium.
The victory saw the Zvishavane based side winning the Castle Challenge Cup match for a record four times in a row since its inception in 2017.
Castle Challenge Cup encounter is a season opening match played between the previous year’s league winners and knock out cup competition winners.
Platinum won the league title while the Ninjas as Chiefs are fondly known were the 2022 Chibuku Super Cup winners.
They (Platinum) eased past Chiefs over the weekend to continue with their Castle Challenge Cup dominance.
Thanks to goals in both halves from Mutimbanyoka and debutant Jarrison Selemani whose half volley sealed the victory for the four time champions.
Selemani, ‘arguably’ Platinum’s surprise signing after completing his move from Cranborne Bullets during pre-season’s transfer window was voted man-of-the-match following a brilliant performance.
Reacting to the win as well as the four time record extension in the Challenge Cup Mapeza was happy with his troops but went on to bemoan the player’s “lack of sharpness in front of the goal”.
“It was a massive result for us. As the first competitive game of the season, I think the guys (players) gave a good count of themselves, but I think that sharpness is not yet there, you can tell with the chance they created as well as all the opportunities that they missed.”
Mapeza’s counterpart Lizwe Sweswe believes his charges will “improve and perform well going forward” as the new season starts this coming weekend.
In their opening league fixtures, Chiefs are set to host Ngezi Platinum Stars while FC Platinum play premier soccer league debutants Simba Bhora away.