by KEVIN MAPASURE
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is expecting Costa dol Sol to give his team a challenge in their Caf Champions League preliminary round second leg qualifier after the Zimbabwe champions won 2-1 away last week.
While the platinum miners carry an advantage, Mapeza is wary of the opponents whom he described as a dangerous side ahead of today’s match at the National Sports Stadium.
Last week, FC Platinum scored through Ralph Kawondera in the 71st minute before Costa dol Sol equalised late on and with a sense of stalemate seemingly settling in, new acquisition Elias Maguri struck a wonder goal to give the Zvishavane side a firmer grip of the tie.
Today, the miners need to avoid a two-goal margin defeat for them to qualify and Mapeza said he has implored his players to guard against complacency.
He has demanded the same application and concentration from the first leg, but wants to see his team limiting mistakes as well as giving away set pieces.
Mapeza expects the visitors to throw everything at them as they will be playing with less pressure.
“We know the challenges that we face tomorrow after the first leg. They (Costa dol Sol) will come here with nothing to lose,” Mapeza told reporters yesterday.
“They are going to come here and push and if they managing a 2-0 win then we are out of the competition, so that is what we have been talking to the boys about. The most important thing for us is to guard against complacency.”
FC Platinum have also been boosted by the return of Stanley Ngala who missed last week’s match as he was attending trials in South Africa.
“In the first match in Mozambique, we didn’t have Ngala and he is back now after undergoing trials in South Africa. So this week, we were working much on what we picked in Mozambique. We were talking about set pieces. In Mozambique, we were conceding unnecessary set pieces, so it is something that we have to rectify.”
Having spent a week in camp with his men in Harare, Mapeza feels that his squad is in a better condition compared to what they were in the first match.
“I have had time with the boys, it’s about five days now. We have had time to bond, we are getting stronger. I am happy with the camp in Harare because in Zvishavane the players were training coming from home. I hope that if everything goes according to our plan, come five o’clock we are going home smiling.”
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