Rodwell Chinyengetere's late goal shook off the bad spell from log leaders FC Platinum as they bounced back to winning ways with an away Castle Lager Premier Soccer League victory over troubled Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Chinyengetere volleyed past goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya nine minutes before the final whistle after he was sent through by Rahman Kutsanzira for FC Platinum to maintain pole position with 49 points from 21 games.
The Zvishavane-based side had gone for three matches without a win since the mid-season break, losing to ZPC Kariba and being held to frustrating stalemates by Yadah FC and CAPS United.
"We really needed to win coming from two draws and the defeat. We now shift attention to our next game against Chapungu. We just need to keep winning our games. Bulawayo City played well although they did not give us any trouble," FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza (pictured above) said.
Farai Mupasiri's effort 20 minutes into the game was the first chance at goal for FC Platinum, but his close-range shot went just wide.
With the first half a rather balanced affair and action swinging from one end to the other, Bulawayo City's Toto Banda also had his grounder saved for a corner-kick by Platinum goalkeeper Wallace Magalane in the 29th minute.
Seven minutes after the break, FC Platinum took the upper hand, but an unmarked Farai Madhananga had his shot from inside the box cleared off the line after he was spotted by industrious Raphael Muduviwa.
But the pendulum swung to the hosts and an awkward bounce from a Lucky Nyathi shot almost beat Magalane in the 74th minute, but the ball took a deflection for a corner-kick.
FC Platinum's Gift Mbweti also shot wide in the 80th minute when it looked easier to miss than to score just a minute before Chinyengetere's late strike.
The defeat was not the result new Bulawayo City coach Bekithemba Ndlovu would have hoped for in his first game after the local authority side sacked Amini Soma-Phiri.
"I thought the boys put up a good fight, played good football until FC Platinum scored in the 81st minute. But thanks to the boys for playing well against the champions," Ndlovu said.
"I think we can survive relegation. We will give our best shot in the remaining 13 games to stay in top-flight football. One lesson we learnt today is to play for 90 minutes."
Bulawayo City: M Diya, T January (I Kutsanzira 57'), T Banda, C Ncube (Z Ngodzo 55'), R Pavari, E Mudzingwa, H Ncube, O Zibande, B Phiri, T Tavengwa, C Samakweri (L Nyathi 70')
FC Platinum: W Magalane, R Muduviwa, G Bello, K Moyo, W Stima, W Mhango, F Madhananga, R Chinyengetere, R Kutsanzira (K Madzongwe 88'), F Mupasiri (G Mbweti 62'), M Dube (N Tigere 47')
Bulawayo City... .. 0
FC Platinum... (0) 1