Platinum eye away win

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says they are aiming for a positive start when they travel to Kenya for their African Confederation Cup encounter against Sofapaka FC on Sunday.

The Chibuku Super Cup winners are scheduled to leave for Nairobi on Friday and they are looking at putting an impressive show in their bid to qualify for the mini-league stage of the competition.

Sunday’s preliminary round first leg clash will be staged at the Nyayo Stadium while the second leg will be held at Mandava Stadium two weeks later.

The platinum miners have been preparing for the tournament since the start of the year and they rounded off their program warm-up matches at the weekend with a 1-1 draw against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.

Assistant coach Patrick Mandizha has been taking care of business for the past two weeks in the absence of head coach Mapeza who was attending the Caf A License coaching course in Harare.

Mapeza joined the squad on Monday and expressed satisfaction with the progress made saying they will use the remainder of the week to work on the final touch-ups.

He said FC Platinum, who are the favourites to progress from the preliminary round, are not leaving anything to chance.

“We should not take them lightly and at the same time we should not worry about how they are doing their things,” Mapeza told the Daily News yesterday.

“There are no small teams in football these days and we should treat them with some bit of respect. There is no need for complacency.

“We are going there with a positive mind. We hope to score goals and it will be easy when we play the return leg. We don’t want to put ourselves under pressure. We should take one step at a time.”

While Platinum should be satisfied by the progress they have made during their month-long preparations, there are also still closely monitoring some of their players who have fitness concerns.

Striker Donald Ngoma and midfielder Tatenda Dzumbunu limped off with injuries during their match against Highlanders. Ngoma scored Platinum’s goal before he got injured.

FC Platinum has played three games including against Chapungu and Shabanie Mine following the cancellation of an international friendly match against Power Dynamos of Zambia.

The platinum miners retained the core of the team that did duty last season where they finished fourth on the log table while adding three new faces.

Midfielder Wellington Kamudyariwa, who was signed from Shabanie Mine, Nigel Papias was promoted from the juniors and highly rated midfielder Brian Muzondiwa, who impressed at Black Rhinos last year, are the only new notable players.

The Chibuku Super Cup winners, who are making a return to continental scene, should fancy their chances of progressing to the next round of the competition against the Kenyan side.

The Zvishavane based-side took part in the 2012 African Champions League, a year after winning promotion into the top flight after finishing second to eventual champions DeMbare on goal difference.

Their campaign lasted until the first round where they were knocked out by Sudanese giants El Merreikh after losing 5-3 on aggregate.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.