BY FORTUNE MBELE
FC Platinum………..(1) 1
UD Songo…………..(0) 0
FC PLATINUM’S first round second leg CAF Champions League tie in Mozambique in a fortnight might prove to be an uphill task after they laboured to beat visiting UD Songo in an uninspiring first leg match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Never Tigere scored the solitary goal for the Zimbabwean champions in the first half before they went on to waste a number of chances that could have given them a healthier advantage ahead of the second leg.
Tigere was brought down just outside the penalty box by Amade Momade and Kenyan referee Peter Waweru gave the hosts a
free-kick in the 23rd minute.
The midfielder took the responsibility from the set piece and fired a cracker to the near post to beat UD Songo
goalkeeper Leonel Pendula.
FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe, in his first continental assignment in charge after Norman Mapeza parted ways with the
platinum miners on Thursday, said he was confident of defending the slender win in Mozambique after UD Songo gave them a
scare in the second half.
“That we scored that one goal is an advantage for us. I am satisfied with the game, playing against the champions of
Mozambique who have also qualified for the first round. We know how we will deal with them. Our target is to qualify for
the mini league and not about how many goals we score,” Sweswe said.
Tigere could have scored 17 minutes into the game, but his effort was punched away for a corner-kick by Pendula.
Four minutes later, another chance went begging for the hosts after Perfect Chikwende’s shot was blocked by the UD Songo
defenders before the ball fell onto Rodwell Chinyengetere’s path.
The striker’s effort, however, went over the bar from inside the penalty box.
Chinyengetere shot over the bar again in the 58th minute from inside the box after he was set up by Tigere, who had a
UD Songo, who came into the game in attack mode in the first 20 minutes before playing a more reserved game and in the
second half, could have scored with FC Platinum almost gifting them a goal six minutes after the break after poor
communication between central defender Gift Bello and goalkeper Petros Mhari.
John Banda had his shot spilled by Mhari in the 74th minute before the ball was cleared to safety.
It was the Mozambican side’s tactical substitutions in the second half that showed they are likely to be a threat to FC
Platinum after they brought in Cremildo Nhantumbo, who could be a headache to the Zimbabwean champions back home.
Coach Nacir Armando said: “We wanted to know how the team plays. FC Platinum are a good side with good players. We had
our lessons. We will do our best at home to win the game.”