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Platinum readies for Sofapaka


FC PLATINUM will wind up their preparations for their Orange Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round first leg encounter against Kenya’s Sofapaka with a friendly match against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow.


They leave for the East African country next Friday for the first leg tie which will be played on February 15 at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

The match officials for the tie will be El Fatih Wadeed Khaleel from Sudan. He will be assisted by Mohammed Idam Idam Hamid and Elmoiz Ali Mohamed Ahmed, both from Sudan, who will serve as the first and second assistant referee’s respectively.

Another Sudanese Mahmood Ali Mahmood Ismail will serve as the reserve referee with Eritrean Tuccu Guish Ghebremeolin acting as the match commissioner.

About 50 club supporters are expected to make the trip, 24 hours before kick off to cheer Pure Platinum Play in their second sojourn in Africa after playing in the Champions League in 2012.
The Zvishavane-based outfit is the only Zimbabwean team that journeys into the African Safari this year after league champions Dynamos pulled out of the Orange Caf Champions League due to financial constraints.

Club media liaison officer Chido Chizondo confirmed the team would be leaving next Friday.

“We will be leaving on Friday (February 13) to give the boys enough time to acclimatise on Saturday and our match is on Sunday. If the coach sees it fit we might have another friendly match, but that is very unlikely.” she said.

Platinum’s assistant coach Patrick Mandizha said they hope Highlanders would give them a tough game that will help them rate their progress.

“We are playing against Highlanders on Saturday (tomorrow) and we are hoping it will help us better to assess how far we have gone in terms of preparing for the Confederation Cup,” he said.

“So far the guys have been responding positively to training. The thing about international matches is that we have to make sure that we do not concede a goal but score an away goal to put us in comfortable position and increase our chances of progressing,” said Mandizha.

He said they will be bringing players that were registered for the Confederation Cup including Brian Muzondiwa, Wellington Kamudyariwa, Nigel Papius and Ronwell Mathuthu.

“Our new signings Muzondiwa, Kamudyariwa and juniors Nigel Papius and Ronwell Mathuthu will be part of the team. Papius is a striker and was the top goalscorer for two seasons in the Under-19 ranks while Mathuthu is a defender,” he said.

FC Platinum are reportedly after the signature of Bantu Rovers captain Nqobizitha Masuku with the deal said to be almost complete.

However, Mandizha said Masuku will not feature in the team.
“I do not know much about his deal. We do want him, but I cannot say much about whether he has been signed or not,” he said.

As part of the build up to the match next Sunday, Sofapaka beat Zambia’s Power Dynamos 1-0 at Nyayo on Wednesday.

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