FORMER FC Platinum skipper Thabani Kamusoko has warned his ex team to expect a brutal and bruising battle when they play Simba SC of Tanzania in the first round of the Caf Champions League qualifiers later this month.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
On Saturday, the Zimbabwe champions set a first round date with Simba SC after beating Costa do Sol of Mozambique 4-1 on aggregate.
Simba SC booted out Plateau United of Nigeria to progress to the next stage.
For FC Platinum, Simba SC are an unfamiliar opponent, although their last memory of a team from Tanzania is a 5-2 defeat on aggregate at the hands of Young Africans.
Simba SC are seasoned campaigners in the Champions League, and Kamusoko who spent three years in Tanzania, playing for their rivals Young Africans, is sure the Tanzanian giants will not be easy prey for Norman Mapeza’s charges.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport from his base in Zambia where he now plies his trade for the Zesco United, Kamusoko, however, said FC Platinum had a good chance of making it to the group stages.
“I think FC Platinum should just stick to their type of game and play their own game against Simba, because that for me gives them a better chance,” he opined.
“Simba are a very good team and to be honest, FC Platinum must expect a highly physical game but if they can keep their shape they have a good chance of winning both legs. If FC Platinum play their normal type of game, they give themselves a good chance of winning.”
The dreadlocked midfielder spent four years in Tanzania before switching to Zambia.
“They are very defensive and they are good at that. I know they might be tough to break, but with pressure they can give in.
“They have big defenders but FC Platinum are good with the ball and their quick play must be effective for them to go past Simba. I think they have a great chance of winning,” he added.
Against Plateau United on Saturday, Simba coach Sven Vandenbroeck deployed a rather defensive line-up, and now it remains to be seen how they will apply themselves against FC Platinum.
The Dar es Salaam giants reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League in 2018-19, but the following campaign saw them fail to clear the first hurdle in the preliminary round and were ousted on away goals by Mozambique’s UD Songo.
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi hope to perform far better in the 2020-21 edition of the Champions League, but will need to be at their best to win against FC Platinum who are also renowned for their steely defence. FC Platinum also have their sights on going beyond the group stage, and winning over Simba will ease them through to the next stage.
Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm