Mapeza on cloud nine, wants 80 points

By Wellington Toni

ZVISHAVANE – The writing was on the wall from the day closest rivals
Ngezi Platinum decided to make changes to their coaching department.
And for FC Platinum, they seized that opportunity with both hands and
romped to their second consecutive Castle Lager Premier Soccer League
title on Sunday when they edged Shabanie Mine 1-0 at Maglas.
Devon Chafa came off the bench to score the only goal of the match,
even though FCP needed just a point to reach an unassailable 72.
Now with 74 points, they still have two more games to play against
Ngezi and Highlanders and could as well reach a record 80 points.
Ngezi fired Tonderayi Ndiraya just before the international break and
did not win their next three games, allowing FCP to increase their
lead to nine points.
Spaking after the match on Sunday, Mapeza said: “Yah, we are done. If
you look at the progression of the team it has been like this since
2014, we were improving each season, last year we won on the last day,
this time we have done it with two games to go.
“I told the players let us push to get to the 80-point mark, now we
are on 74 and we have won, but we still want to win our two remaining
games,” Mapeza said.
“It was not easy. We came here needing two results, a win or a draw, but
we have done it in style, congratulations to the boys.
“It was not easy since the start of the season, congratulations to the
boys, I want to salute the boys, the fans, the executive, the
technical team and my family. They have been very supportive in this
journey.
“But at the end of the day all glory to God. If it was not for God, all
this could not have been possible,” said Mapeza.
FCP will be presented with the trophy on Saturday after their home
match against Ngezi.
Mapeza has joined an elite club of local coaches on Sunday who have
won the league title two or more times.
Former Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa stands at the top with four in
row for the Glamour boys from 2011 to 2014, while Mapeza has done it
twice in a row having won the 2009 league title with the now defunct
Monomotapa.
Former Highlanders coach Rahman Gumbo has also won it twice, the same
as Charles Mhlauri, the ex-Caps United gaffer.
And now, he is most likely to be named the Coach of the Year, hitman
Rodwell Chinyengetere will walk away with the Golden Boot with his 17
goals and perhaps, too, the Soccer Star of the Year accolade.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum will have to wait a bit longer to know their
Caf Champions League opponents after CAF deferred the draw on Saturday
in Rabat, Morocco, due to complications arising from the Confederation
Cup.
The preliminary round of CAF fixtures are due to get underway on
November 27th or 28th.
Caf later released a statement on Sunday to clarify the situation.
“Following the meeting of the Organising of Interclubs Committee in
Rabat on Saturday, November 3, 2018, and because of the specificity of
this transitional season due to the change of dates of Interclubs, a
decision will be taken by the Committee of Emergency of Confédération
Africaine de Football in a short time.
“Reference to the regulations of the Confederation Cup, no association
is allowed to engage more than two clubs in CAF Confederation Cup. In
case the holder of the title is in the same time engaged as champion
of the national cup or third of the national league, it will be
engaged with only one other representative and will not be replaced by
a third club.
“For this 2018/2019 transitional year, the final of the 2018
Confederation Cup will be played on November 30, December 1st or 2nd,
2018, after the start of the 2018/2019 preliminaries. The winner of
the 2018 Confederation Cup, AS Vita Club (DR Congo) or Raja Club
Athletic (Morocco), will be only known after the engagement period of
the clubs.
“This special situation due to the delay of dates will be brought to
the Emergency Committee of the Executive Committee of CAF for
decision,” the statement read.

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