Mapeza eyes Pirates upset

BULAWAYO - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is confident of a positive result in this afternoon’s African Champions League Group B clash against South African giants Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields Stadium.

The Zimbabwean champions, who are playing in the mini-league group stages for the first time, are looking forward to causing an upset against the Soweto giants that have won the title in 1995 and reached the final in 2013.

Speaking on the side-lines of their final training session at the match venue yesterday, Mapeza said their commitment had taken them to where they now believe that a good result was not an option but a must.

“It has been a massive journey and we have been working so hard to be where we are today. Hard work, determination and perseverance have made us to be where we are today,” Mapeza said.

“We also want to thank the Almighty God, who has taken us this far, without Him we wouldn’t be here.  

“We have worked so hard for this so let the guys enjoy this experience. It’s a massive game for the club, for the players and for me as a coach.

“This is the apex of African football, we just need to enjoy. I hope come tomorrow (today) at 5pm we will be talking of good news. So far so good in our preparations, I can’t complain.”

FC Platinum captain and goalkeeper Petros Mhari believes they can make it and also called for supporters to come in their numbers regardless of which team they will choose to support.

Pure Platinum Play were denied the right to host the match at their own backyard Mandava Stadium due to the ground’s lack of adequate facilities for such high-profile encounters.  

“Football is the same and we can do it tomorrow (today) through our hard work. We are motivating each other as players to defend well and also attack our opponents as a team. We are expecting to go beyond this stage. As a team we are targeting maybe a place in the quarter-finals,” Mhari said.

“I also urge supporters from different teams to come and support us, they will motivate us. We are looking at supporters to rally behind us.

“Those who choose to support the other team, its fine; that’s the nature of the game and we respect that but at the end of the day people must support their own.”

His sentiments were also echoed by his coach Mapeza, who said: 

“The supporters need to come in numbers. For those who will be supporting us, I want to say thank you in advance and those supporting the opponents it’s OK, that’s football it’s normal all over the world. 

“What is more important is for us to deliver and get a positive result for whoever is supporting us.”

Meanwhile, Orlando Pirates landed at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport midday yesterday and went through their paces at Barbourfields late in the afternoon.

Fans will be expected to pay entry fee of $20 for the VIP tickets, $10 for the grand stand and $5 for rest of the ground.


Comments (1)

Both teams have a common problem,which is goal-scoring.FC Platinum had 12 attempts at goal,only two shots were on target and no goals scored.Orlando PIrates had nine attempts at goal,only three shots were on target and no goals scored.The two coaches must work on this weakness(goal scoring) if they are aiming to reach the quarter final stage of this caf champions league competition.

widzo - 14 January 2019

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