By Mehluli Sibanda
One of FC Platinum’s most consistent performers, Kelvin Madzongwe, who has started all Caf Champions League matches is anticipating a tough battle against Orlando Pirates in a group stage match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto tomorrow night.
Pirates are looking for a win to keep up with the leading pack, while FC Platinum will be searching for their first win or to at least score their first goal in the group stage of the competition.
Madzongwe, who has played 90 minutes in all their four matches, believes tomorrow’s match will be tough considering what is at stake.
“We are definitely expecting a tough game because it’s the Caf Champions League. They will have home advantage and are trying to get a win. We are trying to get a win, score some goals. It’s definitely not going to be an easy game. We can stand our own and we are going for a win,” Madzongwe said.
With FC Platinum making their maiden appearance in the group stage of Africa’s premier club competition this year, Madzongwe feels they have no pressure at all since it is more about gaining knowledge for them.
“For us it’s been an experience; our main objective was to reach the group stage and it happened. We haven’t scored, we haven’t won a game, but we are not under any pressure. For now it’s like a new experience for us; it’s our first time playing in the group stage, which of course when we started no one gave us a chance to make it this far, so for us it’s been a good experience for everyone,” he said.
He is not disheartened to see all his hard work not producing positive results. Not only has the former Njube Sundowns and Bulawayo City player controlled the midfield with aplomb, but he has also tried his best to find the elusive goals for his team, albeit without success.
“Football is a team sport. I always believe if we are not doing well together we cannot single anyone out. If we are doing well together we can’t single anyone out so it’s always about team work. There have been some disappointments that we haven’t won some games when we thought we could have won.
“Whatever game we played, we always tried to win, so there have been some disappointments here and there. It’s a learning curve for us, it’s new to us, it’s the highest level of African club competition, so we took it step by step,” Madzongwe said.
He is convinced FC Platinum will do well in the next edition of the Caf Champions League where they hope to reach the quarter-finals.
“Maybe next year if we make it to the group stage that’s when we can start to be ambitious, win some games and qualify for the quarter-final.”
FC Platinum and Orlando Pirates played out a goalless in front of a packed Barbourfields Stadium in January and tomorrow’s encounter will determine if they can be separated under floodlights. The Chronicle