BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM will face off against Senegalese side ASC Jaraaf in the Caf Confederation Cup play-offs with the hope of redeeming themselves after crashing from the Champions League.
The play-off matches will be held on February 14 and 21, with FC Platinum playing at home in the first leg.
It will be interesting to see how they will perform in the Caf Confederation Cup when they meet an unfamiliar Senegalese outfit.
In fact this is their first time to take on a team from Senegal.
The Norman Mapeza-coached side dropped down to the second-tier continental club competition after they were booted out of the Champions League by Tanzania’s Simba SC.
This is a chance for Mapeza’s side to redeem themselves at the continental stage, following their 4-0 loss at the hands of Simba SC.
FC Platinum’s loss in the Caf Champions League is a reflection of the state of football in the country which is taking a nosedive.
However, to redeem themselves, they need to be at their best as their opponents are no pushovers, looking at their experience and how they have fared on continental assignments.
ASC Jaaraf has appeared in the continental championship more than any club from Senegal — a record 14 times.
In the current campaign, they beat Nigerian side Kano Pillars 3-1 in the preliminary round before they leaped into the first round after eliminating San Pedro on away goals rule following a 2-2 stalemate on aggregate.
Back in Senegal, ASC Jaraaf are the top-ranked team in terms of achievements, having won 29 trophies in all domestic competitions.
The best they have ever achieved was a semi-final finish in the 1983 African Cup of Champions.
They will be high with confidence and determined to rub more salt in FC Platinum’s wounds.
However, Mapeza will not be reading much into the team’s archives, but will probably invest in boosting his men’s confidence following a rude awakening they got from the Simba SC tie that the continental football can be ruthless.
This though is not first Platinum’s appearance in the Confederations Cup, having previously appeared in 2015.
Their maiden appeareance in this tournament is particularly remembered for their crashing 5-2 defeat at the hands of Tanzania’s Young Africans.
However, they will hope not to rest on their laurels as they face a potential banana skin.
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