By Nigel Matongorere
Warriors and Orlando Pirates winger Kuda Mahachi has rediscovered his form at the worst possible time for FC Platinum ahead of the African Champions League Group B match at Barbourfields Stadium.
The former Highlanders and Chicken Inn winger had a difficult start to his life at the Sea Robbers after moving from Golden Arrows.
However, he has netted in the last two games against Highlands Park and Chippa United while coming off the bench.
Mahachi attributed his early woes at the Mayfair to his off-field troubles following his mother’s prolonged illness and eventual death last December.
The 25-year-old seems to have overcome that phase of his life and is fully focused on rebuilding his Pirates career starting with today’s match against the Zimbabwean champions at his old stomping ground Barbourfields.
“I didn’t start well, 2018 was a terrible year for me. I lost my mother and I didn’t start well here at Orlando Pirates,” Mahachi said after scoring the fourth goal in the 4-2 win over Chippa.
“This year, I have started to pick myself up and every game I have played, I dedicate it to my mother and it’s like a cup final for me.
“I’m happy with my performances now and I would like to thank the coaches for the opportunities they have given me.”
Mahachi’s coach Micho Sredojevich is not taking any chances in the group that also includes reigning champions Esperance (Tunisia) and Horoya of Guinea.
The Sea Robbers are chasing their second African Champions League title to add to the one they won in 1995.
“First step in the group is very important; it is the stamp of the intention of anything we want to achieve in the group,” the Serbian said.
“When you look at everything in the group having in mind that the defending champions Esperance are with us and Horoya were quarter-finalists last year; this is a very tough group.
“We believe that we need to approach all the six matches as if we are playing in the final. We believe that now we are.
“It’s been six years since we last played in the group stage and when you work that back not as many as four or three players in our squad know what it feels or looks like.
“So we shall not be excuse makers and as men, we shall accept everything that comes our way; we really have the highest possible ambition in any competition in respect to this badge and jersey.”
The Orlando Pirates coach is also concerned with his similarly leaking defence that also conceded twice in the draw with Highlands Park.
“In two matches we have scored six goals; that is a good standard but in the same moment, we need to be fully aware that conceding four goals is something below any standard,’ he said.
“This is a concern we need to address and we need to work as a team and the intention of having clean sheets is our dream.
“We have a problem and we are not running away from it; we will address it in due time and improve as time goes.” Daily News