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Banda eyes Platinum victory


FC Platinum defender Gilbert Banda expects nothing short of victory when they face Green Mamba in the Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg match at the Somhlolo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The match kicks off at 3:30pm.

Banda, who is not new to the Champions League and international football, joined Platinum this year from Highlanders and has vowed to make good use of his experience to stop Mamba in their tracks on their home turf.

He is likely to be partnered by Daniel Vheremu in the central defensive role.

Speaking after on Friday morning’s first training session at the Ezulwini Valley training grounds, Banda said they would aim to keep a clean sheet.

“The fact that they are in this competition means they are champions and we will not take them for granted,” said Banda.

“There will be no complacency on our part in the game. We do not want to concede a goal, but we want to score at all costs, win and go back home to finish the job,” he said.

The presence of three Zimbabweans, coach Lloyd Mutasa, goalkeeper Zondai Nyaungwa and midfielder Stanford Ncube, does not worry Banda.

“Football is football and that is not a problem at all. We have played with them and they will not give us a problem,” the former Warriors defender said.

Nyaungwa, the man likely to be between the posts for Mamba tomorrow, told the Swazi Times: “We are on the right track and I see nothing stopping us on the day. It will not be an easy game, though, but we are determined to win at all costs.”

Coming into this match, Platinum played three preparatory matches, beating Motor Action who are playing Black Leopards in the Confederation Cup in Polokwane this afternoon — 2-1 in Mutare, before they lost 2-1 to Botswana Meat Commission and drew 0-0 against Black Mambas.

On the other hand, Mamba played and beat Mozambican sides Maxaquene, Derportivo de Maputo and Liga Muçulamano.

“This is a new game and anything can happen. Those results mean nothing.

“For us those results are not an issue, they were meant to help us get our combinations working. Morale is high in camp and everyone is raring to go,” Banda added.

Platinum held a two-hour training session yesterday morning from 9am to 11am in searing heat and were due for another session at 3:30pm in a bid to condition the players to the high temperatures.

But Banda said the heat would not affect them. “Kariba (where they had intensive training for two weeks) was worse than this. This is nothing and it will not affect us,” he said.

At the session, goalkeepers’ coach Peter Nkomo worked with Tafadzwa Dube and Francis Tizayi while coach Rahman Gumbo and his assistant Peter Chikuni took the rest of the players through an hour-long session focusing on short passes and accuracy.

Strikers Donald Ngoma and Charles Sibanda looked sharp.

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