Zimbabwe: Rhinos Upstage FC Platinum

Champions FC Platinum succumbed to only their third defeat of the season after going down to Black Rhinos in an entertaining Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

Tricky winger Edgar Chigiji scored the solitary goal of the match in the fourth minute to seal a crucial win for the army side.

Black Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa said he was satisfied with his team's perfomance, which keeps them firmly in the title race.

"It was a beautiful showcase from the boys after our loss in the last game. Our game plan today worked very well, we knew that they were going to come hard at us so it was good that we scored early. We made sure that we must get an early goal and it worked... I'm quite happy and the race is still on," Maruwa said.

"I know Platinum are a good side. They know how to pass the ball well, so we kept on pressing hard on them and they couldn't find a way to score. We know that they are top of the league, but it's game on."

Chigiji, who was a handful to the FC Platinum defence all afternoon, could have completed a first half brace, but his beautiful strike came off the upright post in the 20th minute.

FC Platinum striker Lameck Nhamo had a chance to restore parity in the first half, but failed to breach the Rhinos defence.

The home team controlled the first half as they used their wings to keep the FC Platinum defenders on their toes.

In the 44th minute, Leeroy Murape set up Chigiji, whose powerful header was tipped over the bar by FC Platinum goalkeeper Francis Tizayi.

The platinum miners dominated possession in the second half, but were let down by their strikers.

Assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe, who was standing in for coach Norman Mapeza, admitted that his charges had failed to utilise their opportunities.

"To lose is part of the game and to us, it's not a problem because we are going to work on those aspects," Sweswe said.

"Today we were just unfortunate and the match was tough. We got our chances and it was just a matter of not utilising the chances that we created."

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