Lovemore Dube in NAIROBI, Kenya
FC Platinum…………………….(1) 2
FC PLATINUM gave Zimbabwe football something to smile about with a tactically disciplined display against Sofapaka at the Nyayo Stadium here yesterday.
Brian Muzondiwa and Donald Ngoma scored in the 25th and 75th minutes to leave the Midlands giants with one foot into the next round of the Caf Confederation Cup.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said tactical discipline won the day for them.
“They came at us in the opening 15 minutes and we were tactically disciplined and it was against the run of play that we found our goal,” said Mapeza, who questioned his team’s fitness levels.
Brian Muzondiwa put FC Platinum in the driving seat on 25 minutes latching on to a long ball from midfield by Thabani Kamusoko to shrug off the challenge of Wiluis Ouma and slice the ball under goalkeeper David Okello.
Johnson Bagole on eight minutes gave the visitors another scare shooting wide after finding cracks in the FC Platinum jittery centreback combination of Kelvin Moyo and Gift Bello.
In the 13th minute Kamusoko played Father Christmas when his intended back pass intended lacked the ball speed it should have had to Bello resulting in Fiston Abdoul heading over the bar after being set up by Enock Agwanda who had gained advantage of that nap on the field.
Wisdom Mutasa had his shot blocked with the goalkeeper on the wrong side of action following a good run on the right by Walter Musona in the 16th minute.
Soon after resumption FC Platinum could have scored goal number two but Walter Musona shot over the target after being set up by impressive right-back Raphael Muduviwa.
Then came young Kelvin Moyo’s slip in the 47th minute which presented Sofapaka with the equalizer with Abdoul slotting in from inside the box.
But FC never gave up fighting despite that setback with statistics proving that they were as hungry for a positive result as the hosts with a number of forays as evidenced with the number of free-kicks, offside decisions and corner kicks in the second stanza.
Mhari was to come to the party in the 48th minute denying Abdoul from close range following a good pass on the right by Patrick Kagogo.
Another lapse in concentration by Kamusoko in the 60th minute nearly presented Sofapaka with another goal but Mhari turned hero.
Fifteen minutes before full-time the productive right wing engineered the winner.
Muduviwa and Musona exchanged passes resulting in Knowledge Musona’s young brother lofting the ball past two defenders for a grateful Ngoma to score from point range with a rising shot to leave the scoreline at 2-1.
Four minutes later Musona failed to do justice to a Muduviwa cross with a header that did not trouble Okello.
Muzondiwa came close to a brace hitting the side netting in the 80th minute following a brilliant run on the right flank.
Mhari twice came to team’s salvation in the 82nd minute stopping a full bloodied shot by right back Batambuze Shafik from about 25m out.
If that save was brilliant then his clean catch of Agwanda’s header from three metres was world class.
A crowd of less than 120 fans, including former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, witnessed the clash.
FC Platinum arrive in Harare this morning.
Sofapaka: D Okello, F Mulumba, M Odipo, B Shatif, E Ndolo, W Ouma, J Bagole, P Kagogo, (K Omondi 70th minute), D Kago, E Agwanda (J Baraza 87th minute), F Abdoul
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa, E Moyo, K Moyo, G Bello, T Kamusoko, W Mutasa (W Kamudyariwa 72nd minute), T Dzumbunu (S Shoko 76th minute), B Muzondiwa, W Musona, D Ngoma