FC Platinum have pledged to launch an attack of demonic proportions, as they seek to rise from the dead and claim their Caf Champions League preliminary round tie against Clube Desportivo De Agosto of Angola.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Having been annihilated 3-0 in the first leg, few see any way back for the platinum miners, who are under pressure to emulate Caps United and progress to the group stage, but the Zvishavane side are determined to defy odds.
Norman Mapeza’s side are renowned for their defensive stealth, but in Angola, they were shredded to pieces by the Angolan attack, something they will be seeking to emulate, when the two clash at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
Naturally, the spotlight falls on Mapeza, as he attempts a near miracle to overturn a result that would help his side march to the next stage where there is a potential meeting with Wits University of South Africa.
The pressure is on and Mapeza’s frontline, which is not renowned for its efficiency, will have to do something they rarely do, which is score at least three goals to give their side a lifeline.
Last season, FC Platinum managed to score more than two goals in a match on only four occasions and they will seek such inspiration when they approach this important tie today.
It will be interesting how Mapeza will set up his charges, but the forward line that could feature Rodwell Chinyengetere, Charles Sibanda, Mkhokeli Dube and Ali Sadiki will have to be at its penetrative best.
There is no room for error in this one and the Zvishavane based side’s assistant coach, Patrick Mandizha, believes they can pull off what will be a popular result.
“Our preparations have been going on well. We didn’t know much about the Angolans, when we first went there and the fact that they had a new coach also meant they had new tactics,” he told a Press conference in Zvishavane yesterday.
“This time, we know and will fight until the end because we made a lot of the mistakes in the first leg and there was a lot of poor decision making but this time around we hope for positive results. The morale is high our camp, we just hope to perform better than the last encounter.”
Despite the mammoth task, Mapeza remains resolute that his charges will turn tables against the Angolan champions.
For Pure Platinum Play to proceed to the next stage, they should score four goals without a reply, but with history not on their side, Mapeza might be forced to make drastic changes to the squad that lost in the reverse fixture.
Mapeza might be forced to use the highly rated foreign duo of Cameroonian, Albert Eonde and Zambian, Shadreck Mayembe to quench platinum drought.
While they will be thinking a lot about how they can breach the Angolans’ defence, it will also be important for them to make sure that they shut the door at the back, because just one goal can spoil it.
The Angolans have their fate in their own hands and they are likely to resort to caution as opposed to ambition.
Clube Desportivo De Agosto assistant coach, Zoran Maki said despite defeating FC Platinum, his side is approaching today’s game with caution.
He said his side would not be carried away by their three goal advantage.
“FC Platinum is a very good side, which knows very well how to close their lines and they are fast when passing and they are good at keeping position,” Maki said.
“I like the way they change their tactical positions. In the first encounter, they could have scored one or two goals, but they were unlucky. We will see after the match. We have a strategy, but the basic thing is that when we defend, then we defend for sure, but when we attack, we put extra effort,” he said.