HomeSportFC Platinum seek to restore national pride

FC Platinum seek to restore national pride

-

FC PLATINUM will be looking to restore national pride when they square off with Young Africans of Tanzania in a two-legged Caf Confederation Cup first round football clash starting next weekend.

BY MUKUDZEI CHINGWERE

The Zvishavane-based team, the country’s only representative in continental club football this year after league champions Dynamos pulled out of the Caf Champions League due to financial constraints, host Young Africans first before travelling to East Africa for the return leg.

This clash presents FC Platinum with an opportunity to sooth the souls of many locals who have watched helplessly as local football nose-dived to new lows.

It also presents an opportunity to revenge for the pain that Zimbabwean football lovers have been subjected to by Tanzania in recent memory.

The Warriors’ stupor from international football is as a result of their defeat at the hands of Taifa Stars of Tanzania in the preliminary stage qualifiers of the just-ended Afcon 2015.

Bulawayo giants Highlanders have also faced Young Africans in continental football before and the East African examination proved too much for Bosso.

This time, the Tanzanian side is facing what appears a formidable FC Platinum side which is coached by Norman Mapeza, arguably one of Zimbabwe’s brightest coaching talents.

FC Platinum progressed to this stage after a comfortable 4-2 aggregate win over Kenya’s Sofapaka while Young Africans scrapped through on a 3-2 aggregate victory over Botswana Defence Forces XI.

But results from the last rounds usually counts for nothing as teams tend to up their gears as the tournament progresses and Mapeza is well aware of that fact.

“Every game in the competition is now a difficult one. We just have to prepare for the coming games adequately,” Mapeza said.

“Against Sofapaka, we played well as a team and we still emphasise the importance team work,” he added.

For Mapeza and his team to go far in this competition though, there are areas that he might need to improve on, especially the central defence.

The two goals conceded against Sofapaka were silly errors by Mapeza’s central defensive pairing of Gift Bello and Kelvin Moyo, and the gaffer might be forced to try Zambian international Aaron Katebe in that position.

Moyo was culpable for the goal conceded in the first leg in Kenya and Bello was equally guilty of Sofapaka’s goal in Zvishavane as he failed to put enough pressure to halt forward Fiston Abdoul who was afforded pockets of space in the box to slot past Petros Mhari.

The versatile Katebe can also play just in front of the defence and can partner Thabani Kamusoko if Mapeza requires playing with a double D-link in the upcoming fixtures.

This is not the first time Mapeza and striker Donald Ngoma will be exploring the East Africa trenches, having both been part of the Warriors squad at the Cecafa Cup in 2011 which was played in Tanzania.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading