Premier Soccer League football club Ngezi Platinum will be eager to make a mark in their maiden CAF Confederation Cup campaign when they take on Mauritian side Pamplemousse SC in a preliminary round, first leg encounter in Port Louis today.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
The Mhondoro-Ngezi side took the local football scene by storm last year, winning the Chibuku Super Cup in their debut season — a feat that won them a ticket to represent the country in Africa’s second club competition.
Buoyed by last season’s heroics, Ngezi left the country on Friday morning, via South Africa, and were expected to arrive in Port Louis in the evening.
Speaking to Standardsport in Johannesburg just before connecting to the Island nation, Ngezi coach Tonderai Ndiraya said their goal was to emulate last year’s heroics, but on a bigger scale this time around.
“We are prepared and I can safely say the team is ready for the match. We are going there with confidence that we will fight hard and get a positive result,” he said.
“We want either a win or a scoring draw. We are in this tournament to enjoy ourselves, but in enjoying, we want to win.
“We want to go as far as we can. We made history last year and we want to make more history this year.”
Ngezi Platinum’s opponents have been enjoying good form in their league of late, and are on a seven-match unbeaten run, having won six of them.
Ndiraya is not wholly terrified.
“We have done some bit of research on them and we know they are difficult to beat at home. In their last seven matches at home, they have won about six times but we are geared up and I have confidence in my squad,” he said.
Ndiraya assembled what looked like a good squad for this season, on paper that is, after adding Soccer Star of the Year finalist Godknows Murwira and Qadr Amini.
To prepare for the match, Ngezi played two friendly matches against Zambian sides.
The team travelled without two key players, vice-captain Edgar Tapera and defender Byron Madzokere, who are both struggling with groin injuries.
They are expected to be fit though for the return leg next weekend.
The winner of the two-legged contest will progress to the first round, where Angolan side Recreativo de Libolo, lie in wait.
The side that will progress past the first round reaches the mini league stage.