FC Platinum bank on Caf experience

BY FORTUNE MBELE

ZIMBABWE champions FC Platinum are banking on their past experience in the Caf Champions League as they brace for the Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel in the Group B league phase of the competition at Barbourfields Stadium today.

FC Platinum lost their last game 2-1 last week to Al-Hilal in Sudan and they have to post a positive result against the Tunisians if they are to retain hopes of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.

Coach Lizwe Sweswe yesterday said their experience in the past will play a major role in today’s game.

“The boys are prepared to fight especially with the experience we have now; taking into consideration that we were in the same competition last year and by now I think everyone in the team knows their roles and responsibilities,” Sweswe said.

Sweswe said they would go straight into attack mode today and stick to their type of play.

“I believe in attacking football and in dealing with how we play and not mind about their type of play. We have to stick to the way we play, our culture and strategy. I think that will carry the day for us tomorrow,” he said.

Sweswe, who took over from Norman Mapeza at FC Platinum, expects to pull a surprise against the highly rated Etoile du Sahel who won the competition in 2007 and have done well in subsequent competitions in which they have taken part.

“On paper they are highly rated but football is changing and becoming dynamic. What is important is that we are in the group stages which shows we are geared to play the so-called giants. I think we have learnt a lot in the previous games that we have played which helps us to have an idea of what to expect in the coming game tomorrow (today),” Sweswe said.

FC Platinum will be looking up to the likes of Never Tigere, Kelvin Madzongwe, Rodwell Chinyengetere (pictured), Gift Mbweti, Devon Chafa and Lameck Nhamo.

Etoile du Sahel coach Juan Carlos Garrido is confident but conceded that playing away from home was a challenge

“Tomorrow is an important match for us. The Champions League is the best competition in Africa with the best teams and the best players. For us we are a big club; top club in Africa and victory is the most important thing. We are playing to win and our supporters are always asking for victory. But we have total respect for the opponents because we know their quality, the players they have and that it is difficult to play in Africa especially away from home,” the Spaniard said.

Garrido’s team beat Al Ahly of Egypt 1-0 in their first game with Yassine Chikhaoui scoring the winner five minutes after the break in Tunisia.

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