By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
FC Platinum have set up base in Harare to prepare for their Total Caf Champions League preliminary round second-leg tie against Mozambique’s Costa do Sol, who they beat 2-1 in the first-leg at Zimpeto Stadium in Maputo on Saturday.
Ralph Kawondera shook the nets with a header to open the scoring for Pure Platinum Play, while Elias Magura sealed the victory two minutes into added time through a brilliant solo effort.
Costa do Sol have to beat the Zimbabwean champions by two clear goals this weekend. While anything is possible in football, it looks like a huge task for the visitors.
“We are not going to Zvishavane, the team will be here for the duration of the week as you know that we are now using the National Sports Stadium for our Caf matches,” said club spokesperson Chido Chizondo.
Coach Norman Mapeza is unlikely to tamper with the personnel he deployed in Maputo, especially the midfield, which had Kelvin Madzongwe and continental football debutant Brian Banda dictating operations.
With a bit of luck, Banda could have put his name on the score sheet. He had two opportunities, one shot from outside the box being cleared off the line by a defender with the goalkeeper completely beaten.
The telepathic understanding between Madzongwe and Banda will cause havoc for most opponents, as Banda played like a veteran by covering every blade of grass on the pitch. His tackles were vicious, but clean. His passes pinpoint, an attribute which every coach wants in a player.
The encounter will be handled by Zambian referees. If FC Platinum win, they will set up a date with Plateau United of Nigeria or Simba SC of Tanzania for the first and final round in the preliminary phase before the group stages. The Chronicle