BY FORTUNE MBELE
WITH the possibility of reaching the Caf Confederations Cup first round almost certain following a 5-0 demolition of a visiting Burundi side Rukinzo at Barbourfields Stadium in the competition’s preliminary round first leg at the weekend, Triangle will now shift focus to the local scene where they travel to Ngezi Platinum tomorrow.
The Taurai Mangwiro-coached side got the result they wanted against the sorry Burundians ahead of the second leg in two weeks time, but the gaffer knows that the challenge on the local front against a title chasing team like Ngezi would be tough.
“It’s a different competition altogether,” Mangwiro admitted. “We have a lot of ground to cover in the local league. Remember we had that barren patch where we
lost four consecutive matches, now we are unbeaten eight times, nine including Rukinzo so we need to cover a lot of ground because we lost quite a lot during
that poor spell. We are making up as a team and its looking positive for us,” he added.
Triangle sit on position eight with 23 points on the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log-standings, nine points behind leaders FC Platinum and five shy of
their opponents tomorrow.
In addition to the results against Rukinzo, Mangwiro was also pleased with the performance of new acquisition Allan Tavariswa who they brought in during the
mid-season transfer window.
The bustling striker had a memorable start in his new life, netting a brace. Mangwiro believes the arrival of Tavarwisa gives him more options as the team
fights for honours on the domestic and continental fronts.
“All we are doing is not to think about short-term. We want to look at it in a broader way. We need to have a balanced squad to fight on both the league and
the Caf Confederations Cup. It’s important how you manage your squad, its going to be very key going forward,” Mangwiro said.
Their opponents tomorrow have also suddenly picked up form and are just four points behind pacesetters FC Platinum.
Triangle beat Ngezi Platinum in the reverse fixture at Gibbo Stadium in March.
Meanwhile, Mangwiro believes his team has not qualified for the next stage of the Caf Confederation Cup, despite carrying a healthy lead into the reverse
fixture slated for August 24 in Bujumbura.
“It’s a comfortable lead that we got, but playing in Burundi would be a totally different game. So as much as we might want to get comfort from having taken a
comfortable lead, we know that anything less than a convincing performance will give Rukinzo some hope. We don’t want to look at it as a done deal yet. If
anything, we need to treat the second leg the same way we treated the first leg,” he said.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League midweek fixtures
Tomorrow: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Triangle (Baobab), FC Platinum v Harare City (Mandava)