ZIMBABWE champions FC Platinum’s dream to make a mark in their African Champions league adventure received a major setback at the 11 November Stadium here yesterday, after they were handed one of their heaviest defeat by Clube Desportivo de Agosto in the first leg of their preliminary round tie.
Desportivo De Agosto . . . (1) 3
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
FROM TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA IN LUANDA, ANGOLA
Norman Mapeza, a colossus in the Zimbabwean game having played for top European side Galatasaray and also captaining the national team, had set himself a target of reaching the group stage of the prestigious tournament.
But after the humiliating defeat yesterday it is now illusory.
The platinum miners complicated life for themselves after a bright start in which they carved out good chances.
FC Platinum found themselves trailing 1-0 on seven minutes after a miscued clearance by stand-in captain Winston Mhango allowed Gogooro space to set up a well-positioned Mongo, who had the simple task of drilling a low shot past a badly exposed goalkeeper Wallace Magallane on seven minutes.
That goal appeared to have unsettled FC Platinum, as they continued to play second fiddle, with the home team launching wave after wave of attack.
Clube Desportivo d’ Agosto could have added the second three minutes later through Congolese international forward Jacques, whose rasping shot went narrowly wide.
However, FC Platinum refused to be cowed into submission with Ali Sadiki coming close with a speculative shot on 24 minutes.
In the second half FC Platinum appeared determined to level the scores, with Rodwell Chinyengetere forcing goalkeeper Neblue to tip the ball over the bar on 53 minutes.
Still the home team continued with a high pressing game and were 2-0 up on 55 minutes, with Jacques profiting from a horrendous mistake by Magalane, who punched the ball into his path in a desperate bid to clear.
The Congolese international was not done yet, as he returned to haunt FC Platinum seven minutes later with his second goal to make it 3-0. From there after the home team were all over their opponents.
On 70 minutes, Mongo watched in disbelief his effort crashing against the upright.
Mapeza’s men had goalkeeper Magalane to thank after he denied Ibukn with a classy stop at the death.
Mapeza lamented the defensive blunders at the back and said the team didn’t utilise chances presented to them.
“Before the match I told the players the first quarter of the match is very important, but they go on to concede. Again before the second half I told them its important to keep it tight and we need to be careful but they conceded again. I also think it has to do with inexperience, the Angolans are more experienced I think this is their ninth season in this tournament. But this is all part of the game. We will go home and try to psyche up the players and try to push, because you never know in football. I am one guy who doesn’t want to blame his players. They also had their opportunities which they could have converted,” Mapeza said after the match.
Teams: Clube Desportivo D’ Agosto, Neblu, Isaac, Bobo, Massunguna, Natael, Chow, Mongo, (Bua 75′), Geraldo, (Fofo 85′) Ibukun, Gogoro, (Nelson 53′) Jacques
FC Platinum: W. Magalane, E Moyo, K Moyo, R Mudhuviwa, L Mhlanga, W Mhango, J Tigere, R Kutsanzira, (K Madzongwe R Chinyengetere