Is FC Platinum ready for Chamipons League challenge?

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TAWANDA MARWIZI

Zimbabwean champions, FC Platinum, are facing a bigger test ahead of them when they travel to Madagascar tonight to face CNAPS in the African Champions League game on Wednesday afternoon.

The two time winners of the Castle Larger Premiership have not been impressive in the Champions league games.

Norman Mapeza’s side suffered a 5-1 aggregate loss to Young Africans of Tanzania at the Caf Confederation Cup in 2012, before suffering a same goal aggregate to Angolan side Primeiro de Agosto earlier this year.

Despite investing in a number of players, they were not impressive in the prestigious continental competition.

Mapeza, who has not celebrated much on his second successive season awaiting the next challenge, is banking on equally experienced players like their target Triangle, forward Lameck Nhamo, Kelvin Moyo, Mkhokheli Dube and Devon Chafa among others.

Soccer critics have questioned if the team has enough depth to go for the continental competition.

As curtains for the 2018 premier soccer league season comes down, most teams have lacked depth and have been inconsistent throughout the whole season, making the platinum miners a better team.

It is yet to be seen if the team will produce quality players that are competitive enough for the African competition.

In their game against Primeiro de Agosto early this year, Mapeza’s side lacked depth and was hallmarked by inexperience, thus getting punished by an equally experienced side.

Despite being one of the teams that enjoys good ball possession whenever they play, they could not rise to the occasion when they faced the Angolan side.

Now they face a team that was also dismissed in the early rounds of the same competition early this year.

This CNAPS’ last major success was winning the 2015 Indian Ocean Champions cup, according to media reports in Madagascar.

However, the reports have also shown that the team has a traceable record of scoring more goals.

Like FC Platinum, CNAPS have had no success in the African Champions league. They have participated three times 2010, 2014 and 2015 and have been eliminated in the preliminary round.

Mapeza said he was aware of the task he had and would work to make an improvement.

“The fact that we had a dismal performance in our last games in the competition does not mean we are underdogs. We are fully aware of the task and we are waiting for it,” he said.

He said they were preparing for the game and their aim was to collect maximum points against the team.

“We are traveling there next week and our main aim is to play the game, collect points and see how we get to the next challenge,” he said.