Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
TEN men FC Platinum claimed the Castle Lager Premiership title for the third year running after edging rivals CAPS United 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday.
The battle for silverware went all the way down to the final day, with rivals clashing in the final day of the season – for the first time ever in the history of the competition.
The Zvishavane miners, who went into the season finale leading with a point, needed a draw to be crowned champions but had to do it in style – beating their rivals through a Perfect Chikwende solitary strike in the second half.
Lizwe Sweswe’s men came into the match with an attacking mentality and were the better team in the opening 45 minutes which saw Gift Mbweti fluffing numerous chances.
It was remarkable title race as CAPS United also got their chances having went into the match searching for an outright win to be crowned champions in three years.
The match was filled with tensions, and resultant, FC Platinum were reduced to ten men at the break after Guyve Mawete Nsiala was shown straight red during a half time alternation.
Platinum played the second half with one man down but still managed a win which left CAPS United’s title dreams shattered.
In fact, the result meant Makepekepe finished third – four points behind eventual champions FC Platinum and a point behind runners up Chicken Inn who beat TelOne 4-1 at Luveve.
FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe said they came into the match with an attacking mentality which he believes helped them achieve their goal.
“We came into match looking for a win, not a draw and I think that helped us a lot. If you looked at our approach, we were attacking and we got what we wanted.
“We had more men going forward, were disciplined but the desire was to win the match. Well done to the boys,” said Sweswe.
CAPS United oach Darlington Dodo said it was unfortunate that they lost the match and the title but went into the match with a positive attitude.
Dodo, however, believes they had a good season despite finishing third having went into match with chances of claiming the big one.
“It’s unfortunate, not a result we wanted but we had a good season. I will talk to the boys, they have done well,” said Dodo.
Mushowani, Hwange, TelOne and Chapungu were the casualties as it also needed the final day to know the other two teams facing the chop.
Mushowani and Hwange were only confirmed relegated going into the final match of the season.
Black Rhinos and Manica Diamonds face off on Sunday.