End of the road for FC Platinum

Horoya AC......................... (0) 2

FC Platinum............................0

CONAKRY - Costly mistakes at crucial moments of the game meant FC Platinum’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages of the African Champions League are all but over after going down to Horoya AC here on Tuesday night.

The Zimbabwean champions appeared on course to probably pick up their first win following an impressive first half in which they were unlucky not to score having created the better of the chances.

Their coach Norman Mapeza had warned ahead of the match of the need for maximum concentration on the day only to be undone by two second half goals from Ocansey Mandela and Hudu Yakubu which left them anchoring Group B with a single point from four matches.

Defending champions Esperance of Tunisia lead the pool with eight points following their 2-0 win over South African side Orlando Pirates in Tunis yesterday afternoon.

Horoya moved into second place in the group with seven points after collecting six points against FC Platinum. Pirates dropped to third following the defeat to Esperance with five points.     

Even if FC platinum would win their remaining two games against Pirates (away) and Esperance (home), they would only reach seven points and cannot progress to the last eight of the competition.

“You can’t afford such mistakes at this stage of the tournament. But like I said before, we are still learning and we continue to learn,” Mapeza said after the game.  

The Zimbabwean champions will be disappointed by last night’s result considering that they put in a decent shift but were undone by two second half goals.

The home side were quicker off the blocks enjoying a lot of the ball especially in the opening 10 minutes although it was not enough to harm the visitors, who seemed content restricting them from getting an early breakthrough.

The platinum miners would eventually settle into their grove with exciting midfielder Never Tigere, Farai Madhanaga and Charles Sibanda combining well in midfield to make some positive inroads going forward.

Tigere even had a perfect opportunity to send the visitors ahead on 20 minutes only to shot tamely at Horoya goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye following a quick exchange with Madhanana outside the box.

FC Platinum were almost punished for that miss and had goalkeeper Petros Mhari to thank as he denied Bonifice Haba with an impressive block following a quick counter by Horoya while Gift Bello made sure by clearing the rebound from their danger-man Ocansey Mandela.

The home side would once again come close on 28 minutes only for Bolaji Sakini to fluff a Mandela cut back way over the bar after their skipper had done some excellent job on the right side.

And with Horoya pushing for the opener defender Lawrence Mhlanga somehow lost his cool and recklessly tackled Haba and was shown a yellow card by referee from Seychelles Bernard Camille.

But Platinum refused to be intimidated as they went on to seize the initiative and on 35 minutes Cameroonian striker Albert Eonde was guilty of sending his header wide following a perfect cross from Sibanda on the left side.

On the stroke of half time, Sibanda thought he had done enough to send the visitors ahead with a beautiful curling shot to the far post only to be denied by stretching keeper Ndiaye, who pushed the ball out for a corner.

But just 12 minutes after the resumption, Horoya found their breakthrough via the head of Mandela, who was given too much room to flick a Yakubu free kick from the left side.

Mapeza reacted by making a double substitution with Rainsome Pavari and Godknows Murwira coming in place of Tigere and Kutsanzira as they looked to unlock the home team’s defence.

However, it was Horoya, who went on to double their lead on 77 minutes through defender Yakubu as platinum miners defenders failed to clear their lines.

Teams:

Horoya AC: Khadim Ndiaye, Mangue Camara, Lamine Fofana, Godfred Asante, Hudu Yakubu, Abdoulaye Paye Camara, Sebe Baffour Kyei, Brefo Mensah, Simeon Bolaji, Boniface Haba, Ocansey Mandela (Razak Patrick 78m)

FC Platinum: Petros Mhari, William Stima, Gift Bello, Lawrence Mhlanga, Kelvin Madzongwe, Elvis Moyo, Never Tigere (Rainsome Pavari 75m), Rahman Kutsanzira (Godknows Murwira 75m), Albert Eonde (Lameck Nhamo 87m), Charles Sibanda, Farai Madhananga.

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