AFTER securing a draw against South African giants Orlando Pirates in a Group B Caf Champions League tie at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday, there is no time to relax for FC Platinum, as they face reigning champions Esperance Tunis.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
An electric atmosphere engulfed a packed Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday as both Pure Platinum Play and the Sea Robbers gave their all in a humdinger of a match that ended in a goalless draw.
The game saw football enthusiasts from all over the country and Orlando Pirates fans from South Africa thronging BF to watch the match, filling up the stadium in a fashion last seen more than a decade ago by paying fans.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza thanked the fans that came and backed his side, despite that they were dwarfed by supporters of the Buccaneers in the Zvishavane-based side’s homeland.
“I will only applaud our supporters. They were brilliant today, but as for the fans, everybody has got a choice, you can’t force someone to come and support you. Our supporters were massive today and well done to them,” Mapeza said after the Pirates game.
“We know the challenge we are going to get when we go to Tunisia. We are going to play the Caf Champions League holders. We just need to go there with a game plan. The game plan that we used when we were playing in the qualifiers is the same we are going to use in Tunisia.
“We will not go and open up the game. We know who they are. We know their game. We will just go there and close shop and see what happens at the end of the game.”
He said the trick was to work hard and continue enjoying the experience of the continental showcase.
“We need to just keep working hard. On Tuesday (tomorrow) we are leaving for Tunisia. For me today, I think it’s a positive result. My mind is now set for the coming games. We have to keep working hard. We still have five games to go. Let us enjoy this journey, that is the most important thing. I am enjoying the experience, it’s the first time to be in the Caf Champions League. We will keep working hard and see what happens,” the FC Platinum gaffer said.
After Esperance, the Zimbabwean champions will host Guinea’s Horoya, who held the Tunisian club to a 1-1 draw at home.
Horoya are travelling to South Africa for Orlando Pirates in the next encounter in Group B.