FC Platinum face Angola’s GD Segrada Esperanca in champions league preliminary round

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Norman Mapeza

BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Three-time PSL Champions FC Platinum have been drawn against a tricky Angolan outfit GD Segrada Esparanca in the preliminary round of the 2021/22 CAF Champions league set to kick-off next month.

The Zvishavane side was handpicked by ZIFA to represent the country in this edition, not by merit but simply by the fact that they won the last league campaign in 2019.

They will begin their campaign with an away fixture slated between 10-12 September before hosting the Angolans a week later.

If they pass this hurdle, they will face the winner between Swaziland outfit Royal Leopards and Zambian serial Champions Zesco United in the first round.

GD Segrada Esperanca will obviously be tough opponent for them. However, this will not be their first time meeting a team from Angola in this competition having previously played against Premiero de Agosto, in what turned out to be one of the worst outings in this competition.

They lost 3-0 in Luanda before a 2-1 defeat on their home turf, Mandava Stadium, with Rodwell Chinyengetere scoring their consolation goal.

But Mapeza will be looking forward to flip aside that forgettable memory against the Angolans.

The veteran mentor and his lieutenants are racing against time having been given the permission to start preparations for the tournament, a week ago.

As it stands they are yet to fully start training.

Fitness levels will be one of his main concerns ahead of the encounter, with his players having spent the better of this year without competitive football, although they played in three Chibuku Super Cup matches before the tournament was halted early last month in light of covid-19 spiking cases.

Last time out, the Platinum miners bowed out of the Champions league in the first round losing 4-1 to Tanzania’s Simba SC, but, they will be hoping for better strides this time around.