FC Platinum faces Caps United in must win tie to rescue five game target

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HAVING already missed his 13-point target for the first 5 games, FC Platinum head coach Norman Mapeza goes into the Match Day 5 encounter against Caps United needing nothing short of victory.

By Bhora Afrika

FC Platinum’s 1-2 loss to Highlanders on matchday 3 meant that they will miss their set target by a point even if they claim three points against Caps United.

FC Platinum team

“We are looking maybe at least [getting a] minimum [of] 13 points in these first 5 games of the season. “If we go to 13 points, I think we will be okay”, Mapeza said soon after his team’s 2-1 win over Simba Bhora on the opening day of the season.

With 9 points from 4 games, the highest points tally that the reigning coach of the year can now attain is 12.

The deficit could widen if Caps United maintain their form at the National Sports Stadium this season.

The Green machine’s record at the venue contains a hard fought 1 nil win over ZPC Kariba and identical 2 nil wins over Black Rhinos and Manica Diamonds. All their five goals have been scored at the venue.

Caps United team

While FC Platinum have uncharacteristically conceded four times in four games [2-1 Simba Bhora, 1-2 Highlanders, 2-1 Bulawayo Chiefs], their opponents are yet to concede in 360 minutes.

FC Platinum conceded first in all the three games that they have let in goals. Twice they managed to claw their way back, failing to do so at Highlanders where they trailed by two goals before Walter Musona’s consolation.

Defensive Struggles?

A run of ten successive clean sheets was instrumental in FC Platinum’s title charge in the 2021/22 season. Since the last of the shut outs against Harare City 11 games before the end of the season, FC Platinum has conceded in 8 out of 15 games. In that period, their longest run of successive clean sheets has been just two.

FC Platinum started this season almost the same way that they started the 2021/22 season. They had already conceded four goals by the end of their third game. Their defensive solidity only began to show in the eighth game of the season when they kept the first in their 10 successive clean sheets run.

At the same stage last season, FC Platinum had two points less than the 9 that they have managed so far.

Last time out
FC Platinum led 2 nil at half time but Caps United fought back to force a draw when the teams met at the National Sports Stadium on 23 October 2022, a day after FC Platinum had been confirmed as the 2021/22 champions. Walter Musona, who is already on 2 goals this season, scored together with Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya who is yet to score this season.

Caps United got their goals from Ian Nyoni and Lincoln Mangaira who have both not been involved much this season.

Caps United will be well aware of the trend of conceding first that has dogged FC Platinum this season, and it could work in their favour at home.

It is a potentially exciting encounter, especially because at this point both teams actually need the points to keep pace at the top and maintain the fairly good start.

Caps United lead the pack with 10 points while FC Platinum are a point behind in second.

Form
Caps United WDWW
FC Platinum  WWLW

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