BY SPORTS REPORTER
FC Platinum will have it all to do as they seek to overturn a first leg deficit to Senegalese side ASC Jaraaf suffered in Harare last week when the two sides clash in the return leg of their CAF Confederation Cup playoff at Stade Lat Dior in Dakar today.
The match kicks off at 6pm Zimbabwean time.
Needing a positive result on home soil to cushion them ahead of the return leg, the three-time Zimbabwean champions wasted several scoring opportunities en route to a disappointing 1-0 loss at the National Sports Stadium last Sunday.
Norman Mapeza’s charges will now head into today’s encounter needing victory to keep their hopes of reaching the group stages of Africa’s second-tier club competition. CAF on Friday revealed that the CAF Confederation Cup group stage draw would be conducted tomorrow in Cairo, Egypt.
The Zimbabweans need to win by at least two goals to secure a group stage place while a 1-0 victory will take the match to a penalty shootout to decide the winner.
While FC Platinum appear on the brink of elimination from the competition after their loss at home, head coach Mapeza believes that all hope is not lost and urged his boys to hold their heads high and fight for everything.
“Not all is lost and my boys have to rise against the tide and believe in themselves that they can pull off a positive result away from home. Most of these players are not new to playing international football away from home and should be ready for any negative factors,” he said.
“We also build our hope in that our opponents lost at home before winning the last round away from home, hence we can ride on that, but most importantly we have to rise to the occasion”.
FC Platinum vice-captain Kelvin Madzongwe became the latest player to join the injury list ahead of the crucial encounter, joining William Stima while Stanley Ngala (ankle injury) will be hoping to pass a late fitness test.
In the duo’s absence, FC Platinum will look to the magic of Rodwell Chinyengetere, who has won them previous continental battles on the road.