From Paul Mundandi in DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania
Young African . . . . . . . . . . . . . (2) 5
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
THERE was a catastrophe in Tanzania yesterday when FC Platinum made a disastrous start in the first leg of the CAF Confederations Cup first round soccer tie in which they were clobbered by a lively Young Africans side at Independence Stadium here yesterday.
And the platinum miners coach Norman Mapeza was left speechless after watching his charges suffering their worst defeat under his reins since he took over the hot seat from Lloyd Mutasa in mid-season last year.
“To be honest it was a disaster. It will be very difficult to score six goals past the Tanzanians. We let in (some) soft goals today. I played football and I am a man of football and I know exactly what I’m talking about.
“I want to be really honest. It was a disaster to us and maybe it’s time we probably focus on our league campaign. We are, however, mathematically still in the tournament,” said Mapeza who tried his best to bark orders from the touchline during this one-sided match.
FC Platinum found the going tough in this match, especially on the left back where the Tanzanians exposed the hapless Elvis Moyo.
The visitors from Zimbabwe managed to hold their own in the first 30 minutes but they conceded the opening goal in the 31st minute when “Yanga’s” Salum Telela lobbed the ball past a badly exposed Petros Mhari who had moved off his line trying to cover his defence that had left him badly exposed.
The hosts increased their lead later on through Haruma Yinozina who once again capitalised on some poor defending by the FC Platinum’s central defence to fire the ball past Mhari.
FC Platinum managed to reduce the arrears a minute before half-time when they won a free-kick on the edge of Yanga box and veteran Thabani Kamusoko stood behind the ball together with Walter Musona who then took the responsibility and curled a beauty that Young Africans goalkeeper Ali Mujiafa never saw.
The goal brought a glimmer of hope to the Zimbabweans but just two minutes from the break Yanga went further ahead.
Moyo was caught off-guard by Simon Mjura who then crossed the ball into the box and Amis Tambwe made no mistake from the six yard box and the floodgates were opened.
With FC Platinum still trying to organise themselves, Murisho Ngasha caused more damage to the visitors by adding the home side’s fourth goal from the left flank where FC Platinum were found wanting every now and again.
With the hosts having scored four goals and with FC Platinum now expected to rise from the dead and reduce the arrears or maintain the scores at 4-1, Yanga came back again to haunt them when Ngasha completed his double deep inside injury time.
Salum Abdul Telela robbed Musona deep inside his own half and charged on the right, going past Moyo before sending a pass into the FC Platinum’s danger zone and Ngasha put the finishing touches to this move by scoring his side’s fifth goal.
FC Platinum will, however, feel hard done by the referee Djanal Aden from Djibouti who ignored a penalty appeal from Brian Muzondiwa in the second half.
The former Black Rhinos striker got the better of Yanga defenders Twitwe Mbuye and Kelvin Yondani in the 78th minute but the two defenders pushed him when he was about to take a crack at goal and fell inside the box but the referee waved play on.
It was not just a good day in the office for FC Platinum in this campaign but hopes are still high that the Zvishavane-based miners will produce a miracle and fire four or more goals against the Tanzanians in the second leg at Mandava in a fortnight and pull through to the next round of this continental competition.
FC Platinum are Zimbabwe’s only representatives in the African Safari this year.
Yesterday’s convincing victory saw Young Africans firmly put one step into the next round and their Dutch coach Hans van der Pluijm could not hide his excitement after his side’s thrashing of their useless Zimbabwean opponents.
“We are happy to have won by five goals. The best way of defending is to attack so I am going to Zimbabwe to attack again in the return match,” said van der Pluijm after the match.
Young Africans: A. Mtinge, J. Niyonzimo, J. Mnyamani, O. Fabuel, M. Twite, K. Yondani, S. Juma, S. Telela (H. Dilunga 83rd minute), H. Niyonzima, A. Tambwe, M. Ngasa, S. Msuva (S. Kpah 75th minute).
FC Platinum: P. Mhari, E. Moyo, K. Moyo, G. Bello, T. Kamusoko, W. Kamudyariwa (S. Shoko 46th minute), O. Chirwa (E. Mandiranga 46th minute), R. Muduviwa (A. Katebe 63rd minute), W. Mutasa, B Muzondiwa, W. Musona. The Herald