By Tadious Manyepo
FC PLATINUM midfielder Never Tigere might not be a regular at the champions but his stoppage time free-kick ended Ngezi Platinum Stars’ 31-match unbeaten league home run and has thrust him into the spotlight. The 26-year-old chose the biggest stage to once again showcase his dead-ball prowess when he unleashed a rocket that swerved to deceive Ngezi goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi.
It handed the Mhondoro side their first defeat at home since August 2016.
The lanky ex-Dongo Sawmill star caught Norman Mapeza’s eye when he was still at ZPC Kariba where he delivered a sucker-punch with a last-minute free kick that condemned FC Platinum to their first defeat in 29 matches in July 2016.
Mapeza’s men had gone for 16 games without tasting defeat at home and since a 1-2 defeat to Chicken Inn the season before.
But Tigere, just like what he did on Saturday, rifled a late free-kick for a 2-1 come-from-behind win to bring FC Platinum’s run to a grinding halt.
“I hope to continue scoring these free-kicks. I want to win the title and so we have to keep on working hard.
“We should stay focused and try to be consistent.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya blamed complacency on the part of his charges.
Two late goals by Winston Mhango and Tigere shadowed off Donald Teguru’s opener, as FC Platinum handed Ngezi their first home defeat in 31 matches since August 2016.
Saturday’s loss was the Mhondoro miners’ second on the trot having been beaten 0-1 to Bulawayo Chiefs seven days earlier as they saw their 14-match unbeaten run grinding to a halt.
And on Saturday Ngezi looked destined to protect their unbeaten home run but Norman Mapeza’s men were smarter.
“In our last match against FC Platinum, we thought we had done enough to get three points but due to lapses of concentration we conceded a silly penalty.
“You don’t do silly things in the box like what Frank Makarati did to concede that penalty. We need to be alert always.
“The freak second goal, I think our goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi was not alert. He is a good goalkeeper but he was at fault.
“We lost to Bulawayo Chiefs last week and normally when you lose there is always a danger that you can lose the following match.
“I also feel that our defeat against FC Platinum was also to do with mental strength.”
“I urge the boys to wake up from the slumber and get things done,” said Ndiraya.