By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Despite falling by a hugely contested goal in their Caf Confederation Cup first-leg play-off against ASC Jaraaf of Senegal in Harare on Sunday afternoon, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza remains positive they can turn things around in the return leg in Dakar this Sunday.
Pure Platinum Play enjoyed better possession and remained tactically superior, but their undoing was failure to convert the flurry of chances that came their way, including a missed 26th minute penalty by Silas Songani.
The spot kick was awarded after some lovely exchanges that resulted in Gift Mbweti being felled inside the box.
That miss, for a moment seemed to have momentarily drained some energy from the Zimbabwean outfit as the visitors started pushing forward in numbers, but still they could not find that all important away goal.
Deep into injury time, experienced defender Gift Bello missed another glorious chance when his shot from inside the 12-yard box hit the post with the visitors’ goalkeeper at sea.
Speaking via a zoom press conference yesterday, Mapeza, who conceded that the penalty miss could have affected his boys, said they were far from throwing in the towel.
“Look, this is football in the first place, anything is possible, we can turn things around, nothing stops us. We watched their games where they have lost at home,” said Mapeza.
The gaffer also bemoaned the lack of game time for his players as a result of a freeze in sporting activities in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic and appealed to the authorities to speed up the process of bringing back the game.
“It’s high time football returns. We cannot be playing such demanding games without any football being played at home yet our opponents are playing week in and week out. Yes we are aware that certain factors have to be met, but our continued inactivity works to our disadvantage. I am sure if our league was activity, we could be talking differently,” said Mapeza.
Meanwhile, the platinum miners are set to fly to Senegal this morning for the return leg. The Chronicle