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FC Platinum crash out of Champions League

FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 GD Sagrada Esperanca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 (GD Sagrada Esperanca win 5-4 on penalties)

By Langton Nyakwenda

Veteran forward, Rodwell Chinyengetere, missed a penalty in the shootout as FC Platinum once again stumbled on the big stage and crashed out of the CAF Champions League in the preliminary round at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza (second from left) and his squad train in this file photo. They will conduct night training at the National Sports Stadium in preparation for the team’s next match in Tunisia
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza (second from left) and his squad train in this file photo.

However, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says he is proud of his charges and believes his players punched above their weight given that there has been no Premiership football in the country for over 20 months due to Covid-19.

On the other hand, GD Sagrada lead the Angolan top-flight league with 70 points from 30 matches. It had to take the lottery of penalties to decide the winner in yesterday’s battle after the two sides once again remained deadlocked at 0-0. They also drew by the same score line in the reverse fixture in Luanda last weekend.

Chinyengetere’s opening kick was saved by GD Sagrada’s gangly keeper Landu Langala before the Angolans converted all their spot kicks. Gift Mbweti, Nomore Chinyerere, Donald Dzvinyai and Blessing Moyo fired home their penalties.

Mapeza bemoaned the lack of sharpness on the part of his players but praised them for their resilience.
FC Platinum’s best chance of the game came in the 89th minute when Chinyengetere, who had been played through by substitute Donald Ngoma, failed to beat Langala from a one on one situation. Langala made a double save to deny Chinyengetere from close range.

“We had opportunities especially in the first half, and in the last minutes of the game but we failed to convert our chances. But, today it was much better than what we did in Angola, we never had any chances in Angola but today there was a little bit of creativity. You can see the majority of these guys are still new, so there is still a bit of time to work, then we can improve.”

There were no league games in Zimbabwe last year due to the coronavirus.

“That sharpness was always missing, we played some training games around and I could tell that sharpness was missing. So the sharpness wasn’t there because of inactivity. But the guys worked so hard and I want to give them credit. They worked so hard considering where we are coming from, we haven’t played football for quite some time. I am proud of the boys, they worked so hard, it’s unfortunate losing on penalties is like a lottery anything can happen but I am proud of the boys,” said Mapeza.

The former Zimbabwe captain might have been hoping for a positive result, with the game coming in the week that he was appointed Warriors coach, albeit on a short-term contract. The Sunday News