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LLOYD Mutasa was the biggest winner yesterday as his side FC Platinum staged a dramatic comeback, despite playing one-man short, to beat Dynamos and deservedly lift the Independence Cup at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

The platinum miners trailed for the better part of the game when they went down to 17th minute strike from Thomas Magorimbo before Qadr Amini sent the match into the shoot-out lottery after equalising deep in time added on from the spot.

The visitors were rewarded for their resilience, despite losing one of their key players Marshal Mudehwe through injury, after the fourth official signalled 11 minutes of added time.

The win was a big relief to the visitors who had started their league campaign on a low gear after drawing with newboys Chiredzi and losing at home to Hwange last week.

Mutasa’s wild celebrations told the whole story as the coach, who has g Dynamos links in his blood, said he was thrilled by the win as he has never lost a match against his former club throughout his coaching career.

The platinum miners were almost flawless as they displayed an exquisite passing game and could have easily ran away with the Cup in regulation time if it wasn’t for their faulty finishing.

But they were better compared to their rivals in taking the spot kicks as they converted three of their four penalty attempts while Dynamos missed all of their kicks after Devon Chafa, Ronald Chitiyo and Themba Ndlovu failed to get it right.

Amini, who was the hero after rescuing the match with a 112th minute equaliser, almost turned villain when he missed their first spot kick with his shot zooming over the cross bar.

The visitors, however, managed to hold their nerves and their captain Thabani Kamusoko, who had a very good game, Raphael Muduviwa and Mutasa’s son Wisdom won the Cup for them as they made no mistake from the spot.

It was a special moment to cherish for the Mutasas when the young midfielder converted the decisive penalty to send the small band of travelling fans into a frenzy.

“If you analysed my comments this week, I said we are coming here not to play Dynamos as an institution or their coach Callisto Pasuwa, but to take the Independence Cup. I am glad we achieved that,” said Mutasa.

“In fact, I have never lost a match against a Dynamos side and I still had that belief despite trailing 1-0.

“I also told my players to believe in themselves because in a game of football it’s not over until it’s over.

“I reminded them of the game we lost to Hwange last week which we lost despite having led 2-0 in the first half. I also told them to take the initiative themselves when taking the penalties.

“We had practised these penalties this week and it was unfortunate when Qadr missed from the spot,” said Mutasa.

FC Platinum enjoyed much of the ball from the onset and were the first to test their opponents following a brilliant run by Marshal Mudehwe on the right flank barely five minutes into the game.

DeMbare had to scramble the ball out to safety as big striker Tarisai Rukanda slid in to finish off a spill by goalkeeper George Chigova.

Then Donald Ngoma received a return pass from Rukanda but the Zimbabwe international was slow as the DeMbare defenders recovered and pushed the ball out for corner kick on 10 minutes.

Farai Mupasiri had the best chance for Dynamos in those early exchanges when he beat two markers inside the box and chose the near post but the angle was too narrow.

The Harare giants got it right a few moments later when Magorimbo sliced through the middle and fired past the badly exposed goalkeeper, who got a touch but could not stop the ball looping home despite some desperate goaline clearances.

Cliff Sekete nearly doubled Dynamos’ lead but his shot came off the upright.

FC Platinum defender James Marufu had made a terrible mistake when he was disposessed on the edge of the penalty box by Anesu Gondo and Sekete then closed in to capitalise on the error.

There were few chances for both sides after the restart probably until the 73rd minute as FC Platinum surged forward in search of the equaliser.

Mudehwe broke loose on the right after receiving the ball from a throw in and sent in a threatening cross which DeMbare goalkeeper Chigova punched back into play and the young Mutasa disappointingly blew his follow-up shot skywards.

Mudehwe was lively on the wings with his pace and it was a pity the former Black Rhinos midfielder could not finish the match as he was rushed to hospital following a vicious tackle from Dynamos defender Themba Ndlovu in the 76th minute.

Mutasa’s men had to play the remaining minutes of the game one man short as the coach had exhausted all his substitutes.

Interestingly, the numerical disaantage never showed as FC Platinum managed to maintain their shape.

Mutasa junior nearly put his team level in the 80th minute but held his head in disbelief after his sliding effort from a free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced back into play.

Chigova then made another crucial save when he dived to his left to stop Amini’s threatening shot from a distance.

FC Platinum continued with their forays into the DeMbare area and their fighting spirit paid off when referee Batsirayi Muchenje gave a penalty when Mutasa fell under a clumsy challenge from Tichaona Mabvura, who played an unfamiliar leftback position yesterday.

Amini stepped up to send Chigova the wrong way and set the platform for their second Independence Cup, to add to the success of 2012.

Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa said the whole team should take responsibility for the loss.

“We lost concentration in the dying moments of the game. Again I don’t know where those 11 minutes came from but I wouldn’t blame anyone. It’s ourselves to blame.

“We should have defended that goal,” said Pasuwa.

Teams

Dynamos – G. Chigova, T. Magorimbo, P. Jaure, T. Ndlovu, S. Linyama, T. Mabvura, O. Machapa (C. Sekete, 51st minute), D. Chafa, T. Rusike (M. Murape, 89th minute), F. Mupasiri (R. Chitiyo, 65th minute), A. Gondo

FC Platinum – P. Mhari, Q. Amini, R. Muduviwa, G. Bello, J. Marufu, S. Shoko (W. Mutasa, 46th minute), T. Kamusoko, D. Ngoma, T. Rukanda (S. Sibanda, 37th minute), M. Katsvairo (W. Musona, 41st minute)

Source : The Herald

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