BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum’s Norman Mapeza and Triangle coach Taurai Mangwiro, whose teams plunge into the African safari at the weekend are both approaching their weekend assignments with caution as they seek to move into the first round of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League and Confederations Cup, respectively.
After falling prey to Triangle at the weekend, FC Platinum switch their attention to the CafChampions League where they play host to Big Nyasa Bullets of Malawi at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday following a nil-all first leg result gave them a boost.
Triangle travel to Burundi for a date with Rukinzo, who they demolished 5-0 a fortnight ago, riding on a massive victory over the league’s defending champions.
With Triangle’s possibility of reaching the first round of the Caf Confederations Cup almost certain, FC Platinum need an outright win to secure a place in the first round of the tournament.
And Mapeza knows that it will not be easy to negotiate his way past Kalisto Pasuwa’s Nyasa Bullets.
“It is not going to be easy, but the important thing for us is to find our way back and regroup after the Triangle defeat,” he said.
“We must get a result on Sunday against Nyasa Bullets so that we keep up in the Champions League, but we know it is always going to be a challenging task because our opponents are an equally good side, so we must be at our best.”
Mangwiro, meanwhile, believes his side has the pedigree to reach the final of the African football’s second biggest club knockout competition.
“We travel on Thursday to Burundi. Of course it will be a new game, but the result against FC Platinum will go a long way in boosting our confidence levels,” Mangwiro said.
“We have a good goal margin, but it does not mean we are through to the next stage. So, we must remain focused and cautious of the fact that we are playing away from home and that football in Africa is always a tricky affair.
“The message we are going to put across, is not to be over-confident and overzealous in our exploits. We need to get a result that keeps us up because we are a team that has potential to reach greater heights if we only remain focused and work hard as a unit.”
Triangle are playing in the African safari for the first time and they will be delighted if they manage to play in the group stages of the competition.