Tricky Confed Cup draw for Platinum

HARARE - Zimbabwe's sole football representatives in African continental competitions for next year, FC Platinum, have been drawn to play Kenyan side Sofapaka FC in the preliminary round of the 2015 Caf Confederations Cup.

The Chibuku Super Cup winners will begin their campaign with an away trip to Nairobi for the first leg on the weekend of between February 13 and 15, according to the draw released by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) yesterday.

Norman Mapeza’s men will then host the Kenyans for the second leg on the weekend of February 27 and March 1.

If Platinum manage to negotiate past their opening game against Sofapaka, they will then meet the winner between Young Africans of Tanzania and BDF XI of Botswana in the first round of the tournament.

A potentially-explosive final round clash against Tunisian side Étoile du Sahel is in waiting provided the North African outfit negotiate past their first round clashes, where they will face either Benfica de Luanda of Angola or Burundi’s Messenger Ngozi.

Etoile du Sahel are seasoned campaigners in the continental interclub competitions and Platinum will surely be up against it if they progress.

Platinum took part in the 2012 Caf Confederations, a year after their first season of PSL football, but were knocked out in the second round after losing 0-3 to El Merreikh of Sudan.

The Zvishavane-based side is the only local club who will represent the country in the continental interclub competitions next year after league champions Dynamos pulled out citing lack of financial resources.

The Platinum miners, who are making a return to the continental scene, should fancy their chances of progressing to the next round of the competition when they face little known Sofapaka FC. 

Batoto ba Mungu, as they are popularly known in their country, last featured in continental football in 2011, when they made history by becoming first Kenyan club to eliminate an Egyptian club in a competitive tournament.

The little known Nairobi-based side won the Kenyan Premier league once since their formation in 2004. The team has represented Kenya once in the Caf Champions League and twice in the Confederations Cup.

Platinum won the ticket to play in the Confederations Cup after winning the Chibuku Super Cup where they beat Harare City after penalty shoot at Mandava Stadium.

Nine teams Asec Mimosas (Côte d’Ivoire), Zamalek (Egypt), Djoliba (Mali), F.U.S. (Morocco), AS Vita (RD Congo), Orlando Pirates (South Africa), Ahli Shendi (Sudan), Club Africain (Tunisia) and E.S.S. (Tunisia) were handed byes.

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