The Sunday News
Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Owando, Congo Brazzaville
FC PLATINUM troop into the Stade Marien Ngouabi turf here in Owando, Congo Brazzaville to face AS Otoho in the Total Caf Champions League first round first leg encounter with coach Norman Mapeza declaring that they have to get a positive result ahead of the second leg.
Speaking soon after their training session at the match venue yesterday, Mapeza said they were raring to go despite the mishaps that marred the Zimbabwean Champions’ camp from the time of their arrival in Congo Brazzaville on Thursday.
“We have had our training session here and I feel the pitch is in a good condition. We know challenges we will face tomorrow because this is football, we are prepared but we have to get a result at all costs, I repeat we have to get a result,” said the reigning Coach of the Year.
Asked what kind of a result will be satisfactory to him, Mapeza boldly declared that any outcome other than a defeat.
“We need any outcome, a draw of any score line or even an outright win will be okay with us, defeat is not in our minds, but that is not to say it’s going to be easy for us as has been reported in the media,” said Mapeza.
The training session was witnessed by the team leadership of president George Mawere, chairman Evans Mthombeni, general manager FC Platinum holdings Fani Mafarachisi as well as businessman and number one fan Worthwhile Mugabe.
From yesterday’s training session, Pure Platinum is likely to apply a 3-5-2 formation where Lawrence Mhlanga and William Stima will partner defence rock Gift Bello while in the midfield Elvis Moyo and Gift Mbweti will operate from the flanks, dropping when under attack but going forward in offence.
Tried and trusted Devon Chafa, Kelvin Madzongwe and Pasca Madhanhanga will complete the midfield line whose purpose will also be to feed the striking duel of outgoing Soccer Star of the year Rodwell Chinyengetere and new boy Lameck Nhamo who was acquired from Triangle United. Mapeza will hope that his boys will not boil down due to high temperatures which are expected to be around 32 degrees with a humidity of 75 percent. The match will be handled by Togolese referees who will be under the watchful eye of a referees assessor who was specifically sent by Caf.
AS Otoho knocked out Angolan giants Agosto on away goals rule while Pure Platinum brushed aside the challenge of Malagasy side CNaps.