BY HENRY MHARA
ASC JARAAF . . . . . . . (1) 0
FC PLATINUM . . . . . . . . .0
(ASC Jaraaf won 2-0 on aggregate to progress to the Caf Confederations Cup group stages)
FC PLATINUM’S run in the CAF club competitions ended last night after they were beaten by ASC Jaraaf in the Confederations Cup group stage play-off second leg match at the Lat Dior Stadium in Thiès, Senegal.
The Zimbabwean champions dropped to the second tier of the continental club competitions after they lost to Tanzanian side Simba SC in the Caf Champions League final qualifier.
After the 4-1 aggregate humiliation at the hands of the east Africans, FC Platinum were looking to redeem themselves with at least a group stage qualification in the Caf Confederations Cup.
But they were not just good enough, and their stay in the competition proved very short.
Following their 1-0 home defeat at the National Sports Stadium in the first leg last week, it was always going to be difficult for the Norman Mapeza-coached side to reverse the tie.
Looking for a win in this one to progress to the next stage, the away side found themselves chasing the game as early as the 12th minute when Jaraaf captain Madické Kane curled in from a free kick.
FC Platinum conceded the set-piece after Gift Bello pulled down his marker and the defender got a yellow card for his troubles.
The home side capitalised fully when Kane, the scorer of the goal in Harare, came back to haunt the Zimbabweans with a curler beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Petros Mhari.
It was a bad start for the away side and it got worse moments later when defender Lawrence Mhlanga was pulled out with a suspected calf injury with just 18 minutes on the clock.
He was replaced by Donald Dzvinyai.
FC Platinum were dominating possession, but unlike in the first leg when they created chances which they connived to throw away, they barely got sight of the goal in this one.
It was so bad that, for all their dominance in possession, they finished the first half with no shot on target.
The closest they came to finding a goal in the first stanza was when Rahman Kutsanzira, restored into the starting line-up after missing the first leg match, dilly-dallied with the ball after being put through and the keeper came flying off his line to claim the ball from the winger’s feet.
Mapeza’s men continued to boss possession in the second half, but could not create anything meaningful with it.
Their only shot on target was a speculative shot from a free kick on the hour mark that went straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
They were also guilty on wasting energy on unnecessary things in the game.
If it was not remonstrating against every referee’s decision which went against them, they were busy trying to pluck out “juju” from the foot of the opposition goalposts.
Mhari kept the scores respectable when he made a good save in the 88th minute after his defence had been cut open.
ASC Jaraaf: P Ndiaye, M Kane, A Diene, M Ndiaye (S Diallo, 85), B Seck, Y Paye (A Ndiaye, 85’), M Sylla, S Sissokho, J Bokande, M Diallo, A Tendeng (O Sagna, 71’)
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa (D Ngoma, 87’), L Mhlanga (D Dzvinyai, 18’), G Bello, T Chikore, R Pavari, R Kutsanzira, B Banda, R Chinyengetere, D Teguru (S Songani, 68’), R Kawondera