Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum are not fazed by the lofty profile of their Caf Champions League Group B opponents, Étoile du Sahel, at Barbourfields Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
In fact, Pure Platinum Play, who arrived in Bulawayo yesterday and conducted a training session at the match venue, believe they can gun down the visitors and register their maiden mini-league phase win.
“I am not fazed by their stature, not at all. As a club we just want to post a positive result and that is winning this match, that’s all,” said coach Lizwe Sweswe.
The Zimbabwean champions were unfortunate not to pick at least a point away to Sudanese giants, Al Hilal, in a match in which they went down 2-1.
Poor defending and failure to convert their chances cost them dearly, as forward Mohamed Musa Eldai struck in each half at a time the visitors were clearly the better side in terms of ball possession.
Sweswe welcomes back the quartet of Lameck Nhamo, Panashe Mtimbanyoka, Tendai Evidence and hard running Perfect Chikwende, who missed the trip to Khartoum due to injury.
“We came to Bulawayo with a full complement of players, who are all eager to write their own piece of history on Saturday; everyone is raring to go,” said Sweswe, who is likely to stick to the same 3-5-2 tactical formation that he employed in Sudan.
The formation had Francis Tizayi in goal, captain Gift Bello, big Lawrence Mhlanga and William Stima occupying the three-man defence, while midfield enforcer Kelvin Madzongwe, Raphael Muduviwa, Tawana Chikore, Never Tigere and Devon Chafa congested the midfield, with Rodwell Chinyengetere and Gift Mbweti the two twin strikers.
The usually reliable Mbweti was, however, the clear missing link in Khartoum, as he struggled with his game until he was taken out late in the second half for DR Congo striker, Guyva Nsiala, whose pacey game saw him being fouled and FC Platinum getting a free-kick that was banged home by Tigere.