Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
EARLY pacesetters Ngezi Platinum Stars, who have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the crunch top-of-the-table clash against FC Platinum this weekend by the suspension of three key players, have initiated plans to have the disciplinary measures overturned.
The Mhondoro side suffered their first defeat at the weekend when they lost 0-1 to Bulawayo Chiefs in a game they finished with nine men after Clive Augusto and Xolisani Moyo were shown red cards.
Goalkeeper Bernard Donovan is also suspended for the FC Platinum match after accumulating three yellow cards while forward Terrence Dzvukamanja is away in South Africa with the national team.
But coach Tonderai Ndiraya said they will appeal against midfielder’s Moyo’s expulsion which the club feels was not justified.
“That second bookable offence on Clive (Augusto), I don’t know what he said, but I thought it was too harsh on our part and that really affected our game plan,’’ said Ndiraya.
“Then of course, Moyo’s decision, clearly he was not close to action, but again to my surprise he got a red card.
“So I thought it was a case of mistaken identity from the referee.
“But be rest assured we are going to appeal the red card, it was not warranted, but a case of mistaken identity. I hope the authorities will have that red card rescinded.
“We do have video evidence and we will probably use that. I’m hoping the evidence will help us.
“Like I said, we will try and appeal not just for Xolisani, but also Donovan Bernard. He has been good for us and could be missing in that game against FC Platinum after picking his third yellow card.
“What is really painful is the manner in which Donovan got the yellow card. I thought it was a 50-50 challenge. So we have three of our key players who are likely to miss the tie, but I’m not really worried.
“I think we have depth and those who are there should be able to compete.’’
While Ngezi were falling for the first time, FC Platinum demonstrated their prowess by crushing neighbours Shabanie Mine 4-0 at Mandava.
However, Ndiraya said his men could recover from that setback.
“First defeat after 15 games, of course, putting this game aside I thought we had a very good run of a 14-game unbeaten run,” he said.