FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza will be hoping that his team improves its conversion chances as they seek to end a barren spell in front of goal when they take on Horoya Athletic Club of Guinea in their Group B Caf Champions League encounter at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum are yet to register a goal following a nil-all draw against Orland Pirates of South Africa before their 2-0 defeat to Esperance.
If they are to see the impact of their campaign improve, FC Platinum will need nothing short of an outright win when they take on Horoya, who like their hosts, have so far collected just a point.
Horoya have shown that they are not taking this match lightly by arriving in Zimbabwe a week before the match in order to acclimatise and prepare for the important clash.
They will be looking to recover from their 3-0 mauling by Orlando Pirates, having suffered another heartbreak against Esperance where the visitors equalised at the death to force a share of the spoils in Guinea.
The last three games against AS Otoho in the first round as well as the group matches against Orlando Pirates and Esperance have thrust Mapeza’s strikers under the spotlight, having gone for over 270 minutes without a goal.
There hasn’t been anyone to fill in the gap vacated by Rodwell Chinyengetere who was the team’s reliable source of goals.
Mapeza will be hoping that the experienced Mkhokeli Dube comes out and give them the much-needed bite in front of goal.
Lameck Nhamo, who was brought in from Triangle, will be looking to justify his arrival with goals.
The goals burden will not only be thrust on front liners, but other players such as Rahman Kutsanzira and Ali Sadiki will be expected to contribute.
In the match against Pirates, FC Platinum created chances, but could not put them away while in Tunisia, they appeared set up only to disturb rather than shot at goal as they sat deep at the back.
In previous matches against Orlando Pirates and Esperance, Mapeza emphasised on the need to be accurate in front of goal.
“This one is a new competition, but football remains the same the world over,” Mapeza said.
“We came this far; it means we are improving. But we need to be accurate and utilise all the chances we get. We need to be accurate and convert every opportunity that comes to us so that we boost our chances of progressing in this competition.”
A win over Horoya will keep their chances of qualifying to the quarter-finals of Africa’s premier club competition alive.
And, considering their impressive home record, Mapeza’s side will be confident of getting the desired result on Saturday.
While they seem to be having problems in attack, they also face challenges at the back where left-back Elvis Moyo misses out through suspension, while Lawrence Mhlanga is a doubt due to injury.