HomeSportFinish ‘em off, Platinum!

Finish ‘em off, Platinum!


AFTER two weeks of preparation, it’s down to serious business this afternoon as FC Platinum clash with Sofapaka in the Caf Confederation Cup second leg, preliminary round football tie at Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane.


Kickoff is 3pm.

Sofapaka, thanks to Air Zimbabwe, only arrived in Zvishavane last night having put off their trip by a day after failing to secure enough seats on a connecting flight from Harare to Bulawayo.

They eventually arrived in Harare just after 3pm yesterday and then connected to Bulawayo in the evening, where they were met by the FC Platinum and Zifa convoy that escorted them to Zvishavane, some 180km away.

They did not have time to train at the match venue and will only probably stretch around this morning ahead of the match.

Platinum lead the match 2-1 after a victory at Nyayo Stadium, engineered by newboy Brian Muzondiwa and Donald Ngoma. Sofapaka got their goal from Fiston Abdoul Razak.

The narrow win, according to Sofapaka coach Sam Timbe, means it’s game on.

The Kenyans warmed up for the match with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over taxmen Ushuru when the Premier League kicked off last weekend, giving them some kind of advantage over Pure Platinum Play, who chose to work on their shortcomings from the first match.

Key men Felly Mulumba, Razak and Kevin Omondi were absent over the weekend, but team manager Amenipa Bigisho said the trio is available for the match, which they should win 2-0 to advance to face either Young Africans of Tanzania or Botswana Defence Forces X1.

Mulumba missed the weekend clash with a knee injury, Omondi was out with illness and Fiston had international duty to attend to.

“Felly is back in training after the injury while Fiston is back. As for Kevin, I spoke to him and he said he is getting better. The preparations are going on well so far and we will be going for a positive result in Zimbabwe,” Figisho was quoted on Tuesday.

Heritier Luvualu, Mulondwa Bebeto and Shafik Batambuze all who missed the first leg are also in the traveling team.

Mulumba, a Burundian international told that they had played well in the first leg, but wasted numerous opportunities.

“We played well and I am happy with our performance was good, the only thing we failed to do was utilise our chances plus our defense did not defend well, we made some errors that turned costly.

“We were the home team and losing at home is not a good thing. We, however, must not dwell on that and now we have to focus and work hard on our finishing as we prepare for the second leg. All is not lost though, we still believe we can progress to the next round,” he said.

And Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is aware the physic of the East Africans pose to his young charges and has warned against complacency.

“We are carrying a 2-1 lead, but we need to guard against complacency. We won in Kenya but it is not yet over. The game is still on.

“Everything is fine in camp and we are looking forward to the match. The players are okey, but we are yet to see if there will be any injuries before the match,” he said on Thursday.

Key to Mapeza’s plans are the quartet of Ngoma, Muzondiwa, Walter Musona and Wisdom Mutasa.

Goalkeeper and captain Petros Mhari’s stock has been on the rise since making his debut in the same competition in Hwange colours and adds a serious shield as the last man.

Should veteran midfielder Thabani Kamusoko find his feet and plug the loopholes exploited by Sofapaka in the first leg, then FC Platinum would surely be on the road to the next stage.

At the back, Kelvin and Elvis Moyo, Raphael Muduviwa and Gift Bello have been solid, but need to more vigilant to the Kenyan’s long balls on the attack.

Should push come to shove, then Mapeza can always call upon the experienced Allen Gahadzikwa, Nelson Mazivisa, Simon Shoko, Obrey Chola Chirwa Aaron Katebe and Daniel Vheremu to shore up the younger boys.

Sofapaka team:
Goalkeepers: David Okello, Barnabas Tiema, Evariste Mutuyimana
Defenders: Felly Mulumba, Collins Shivachi, Willis Ouma, Batambuze Shafik.
Midfielders: Danson Kago, Bagoole Johnson, Ekaliani Ndolo, Elli Asieche, Erastus Mwaniki, Heritier Luvualu, Kevin Omondi, Maurice Odipo, Patrick Kagogo.
Strikers: Fiston Abdoul, Enock Agwanda, John Baraza, Mulondwa Bebeto.
Club officials: Sam Timbe (coach); David Ouma (assistant coach); Haggai Azande (goalkeeping coach); Wilhelmus Mukoya Barasa (team physio) Emmanuel Kayoyi (club secretary general).
FKF official: Ken Rungu
Referee: Tirelo Mositwane
First assistant: Bakwena Simankalele
Second assistant: Madondo Kitso Sibanda

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