The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Al Hilal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(0) 1
FC PLATINUM were left to regret a missed penalty, with the late goal they conceded six minutes before the end against Al Hilal of Sudan at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday condemning them to their fourth defeat in the Caf Champions Group B.
Left back Tawana Chikore sent the ball wide from the penalty spot in the first half and FC Platinum were punished when the visitors scored through substitute Mohamed Musa who slotted in from a counter attack.
The defeat means FC Platinum, who play their last group match away to Étoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia with no chance of progressing to the next stage of the competition as they are still rooted to the bottom with one point and a goal difference of minus seven are out of the competition. Al Hilal moved to second spot on the log with nine points and an opportunity to make it to the quarter-finals.
FC Platinum coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh felt that they played well especially in the first half and had they converted the penalty, that would have made life much easier for them.
“We played from our side very nice football, good movement, big chances to score penalty kick, we missed the penalty kick, crucial moment in the game because if we had scored and made it one zero it was easier to play. Congratulations to the opponents, they are in good position to qualify,’’ De Jongh said.
Al Hilal coach Hamada Sedky said they managed to win because they were able to change things in the second half, by altering the formation and making three substitutions. He also observed that the FC Platinum fitness levels went down in the second half.
“I said we are here to win the game because we are still in the competition and your team (FC Platinum) is out of the competition, it will be difficult for them. In the second half we changed the system to 4-4-2 and changed three players and this made the difference. Second half we controlled the game, football is 90 minutes, you must learn to play the 90 minutes, not 45 minutes,’’ Sedky said.
FC Platinum had the most perfect opportunity to take the lead in the 26th minute when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe awarded them a penalty after Rahman Kutsanzira was pushed inside the box by Faris Abdalla. Chikore sent his effort wide off target.
That miss came back to haunt the three-times-in-a-row Zimbabwean champions, with the Sudanese scoring six minutes before the end.
Substitute Perfect Chikwende was dispossessed deep into the Al Hilal half and a long ball was sent up which the FC Platinum defence failed to deal with, leaving Musa to fire past an exposed Petros Mhari.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, K Madzongwe, R Maduviwa (Mhlanga 78 mins), G Nsiala (Chikwende 66 mins), W Stima, G Bello, R Kutsanzira, R Pavari, L Jesi (Nhamo 90+1 mins), S Ngala, T Chikore
Al Hilal: S Magoola, M Mokhtar, W Bakhet, S Merghani, I Mohsin, F Abdalla (Mohamed 59 mins), A Latif, A El Tahir, M Darag (Kadio 74 mins), I Majeed (Musa 82 mins), M Esam