The match has been moved to 3:30pm because of the extremely hot weather conditions here. Platinum trained twice on Friday and also had a feel of the artificial turf at Somhlolo on Saturday.
Both teams have played three matches each — Platinum having played against three Zimbabwean sides winning once, losing one and drawing the last match while Mamba have all three against Mozambican opposition. Interestingly, both teams are already looking beyond the preliminary round where Sudanese giants El Merreikh are lying in wait.
Coaches Rahman Gumbo of Platinum and Lloyd Mutasa of Mamba have played against each other in the past as players and this is the first meeting of the two in their coaching careers.
When Mutasa was fired at Dynamos last year, he had already beaten Platinum 2-0 in the first league match when the Zvishavane-based side was under the late Benjamin Moyo. Mutasa says he knows Platinum’s strengths and weaknesses from his knowledge of the players and certainly not the formations that Gumbo would use with his new acquisitions. He reckons the wins against Mozambican sides mean his side is ready to stun the Platinum miners.
On the other hand, the Zimbabweans believe failure is not an option and would not be embarrassed by the Swazi team either home or away. They reckon their tough encounters will come against Merreikh and former African champions TP Mazembe of the DRC.
For a team that is on its maiden journey into Africa, it’s a little ambitious but for a team that has such stars as Gilbert Banda, Charles Sibanda, Ali Sadiki, the Ngodzo brothers; Zephaniah and Joel, Thabani Kamusoko, Donald Ngoma, Tafadzwa Dube, Qadr Amin, Hardlife Mawundi and Allen Gahadzikwa, an early exit would certainly be the embarrassment of the year for them.