FC Platinum eye Horoya upset

CONAKRY - With no margin for error, FC Platinum know that only a win over Horoya AC at the Stade du 28 Septembre here tonight will keep their African Champions League hopes alive.

Kick-off is 6pm Zimbabwean time.

Although they are bottom of their Group B with only a single point from three matches, Norman Mapeza’s men are still master of their own destiny as a victory over the Guinean champions tonight will rekindle their chances of reaching the quarter-finals of Africa’s premier inter-club competition.

“I think it’s still game on. We had some setbacks when we lost our last two matches but what is important now is to approach our remaining three matches with a positive mindset starting with this one against Horoya,” Mapeza said ahead of the match.

“What we need is a response. And if they can beat us at home we can also do the same by beating them at their own backyard. We cannot give up now. Giving up is not an option, we need to stay positive.”

Pure Platinum Play commenced their Group B campaign with a goalless draw against South African giants Orlando Pirates at home at Barbourfields Stadium last month.

In their second match, the Zvishavane-based side lost 2-0 away to defending champions Esperance in Tunisia.

The Zimbabwean champions then suffered a disappointing 0-1 loss to tonight’s opponents at Barbourfields, a result which weakened their chances of progressing to the next round.

Probably for FC Platinum, their biggest undoing in this tournament has been their failure to convert chances that come their way.

Mapeza’s men are yet to find the back of the net in the group stages thus far.

The last time FC Platinum scored was in the final qualifying round when defender William Stima netted with a free kick away to Congolese side AS Otoho in the first leg.     

With their top goal scorer from last season, Rodwell Chinyengetere now on the books of South African side Baroka FC, finding the back of the net has been a challenge for FC Platinum.

“We need to win this game at all costs. We know our challenge in front of goal. But like I always say, scoring is not only for strikers, everyone in the team can score goals,” Mapeza reckons.

“We need to have that creativity from the midfield going forward. I have been talking about it with the boys lately and everyone knows what is expected of us. I hope come match day we will play our normal game and get a positive result.

“I have to be honest, at home against Horoya we were not ourselves. We didn’t play the way we had trained. It’s always difficult when you do something in training and on the match day it doesn’t work. But we have done our homework.

“We did our video analysis of our game against Horoya and it was clear on what we need to do. We discussed about it with the boys and we really need to pull our socks. Everybody is aware and we are geared.”

Should FC Platinum secure a victory this evening it could change the whole complexion of their fate while winning the other remaining fixtures against Orlando Pirates (away) and Esperance (home) will guarantee them a place in the knockout stages.

South African giants Orlando Pirates are currently on top of the group with five points while Esperance are second behind only on goal difference. Horoya are third on four points.


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