HomeSportSoccerNgezi Platinum in Zambia test

Ngezi Platinum in Zambia test

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NGEZI Platinum coach, Tonderai Ndiraya, has said the two friendly matches they will play against Zambian opposition will test his team’s readiness for their Confederations Cup campaign, which begins next week.

BY HENRY MHARA

The Chibuku Super Cup winners left for Lusaka yesterday, where they are set to play Red Arrows at Nkoloma Stadium this afternoon before taking on Lusaka Dynamos at the same venue tomorrow.

Speaking before the team’s departure yesterday, Ndiraya said the two preparatory matches will give an indication of their preparedness for their Confederations Cup preliminary round first leg match against Pamplemousse of Mauritius next weekend.

“These two matches will give us a clear indication of where we stand in terms of our preparations, the players’ fitness and how we will apply ourselves in a competitive game. The Zambian league is more competitive than that of Mauritius, so the opposition that we chose will give us a good test and the challenge that we need,” he said.

Red Arrows beat Caps United 2-1 in a friendly match last week.

Ngezi Platinum’s preparations for the Pamplemousse first leg to be played a week on Sunday in Port Louis had been hampered by injuries to key players, Donald Teguru, Washington Pakamisa, Byron Madzokere and new arrival, Qadr Amini.

However, they have all recovered to give a boost to the side, who are making their debut appearance in a continental club competition.

“The injuries were a setback, but all the players are fine now. Everyone is training well and I think we are getting there. We are happy with our preparations and we are grateful to the team’s management for the support they are giving us for this cause. We should be back in the country on Sunday and leave for Mauritius on Friday for the Sunday match, so we have enough time to recover,” Ndiraya said.

Ngezi Platinum had initially planned to go to Mozambique last week, but cancelled the trip due to persistent rains and security concerns in Maputo.

Ngezi Platinum, who shook the local scene last season in their first year in the Premier Soccer League, especially after the arrival of Ndiraya, have added nine players to the squad, as they seek to make an impression in the African safari.

Some of the notable additions are Godknows Murwira, Dominic Mukandi, Amini, and goalkeeper, Takabva Mawaya.
However, Mawaya is not registered for the Confederations Cup, as he signed for the club after the deadline for the submission of names to Caf.

Seven players, including James Marufu, who is rumoured to be club-hunting in South Africa, Innocent Sokosi and Daniel Kamunhenga, were offloaded.

Ngezi Platinum will travel to Mauritius looking to get a good result, which would make their job easier when they welcome the minnows the following week for the return leg.

If they manage to advance to the next stage, the Ndiraya-coached side will play Recreativo do Libolo of Angola
The 16 winners of the first round advance to the play-off round, where they are joined by the 16 losers of the Champions League first round.

The 16 winners of the play-off round advance to the group stage.

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