MAPEZA READY FOR ANGOLA
5 February 2018
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza says they will play their normal game against Desportivo de Agosto away on Sunday despite the Angolans’ strong home record.
Desportivo de Agosto’s league record last year show they only lost one home game to local side Kabuscorp 2-1 out of the 30 matches, an indication of the challenge that lies ahead for FC Platinum.
Of those 30 games, they also drew 0-0 with Recreativo Caála to ensure that they collected 40 out of a possible 45 points, an 88.9 percent home success rate.
Mapeza, whose title success locally was at the back of a strong defence home and away, believes they will not be forced to be cautious when they face their CAF Champions league opponents in the first leg.
“They may be good at their backyard but that will not stop us from playing our normal game. We can’t even talk about minimising the damage because because the objective always is to try and win the game,” Mapeza told H-Metro.
“We just have to be at our best away and home. We always must play to win the game and that is what we will be aiming to do.”
It is also the same Kabuscorp that managed to get a double over Desportivo de Agosto, winning the first leg 2-0 home and 2-1 away on the last day of action.
Agosto’s second loss away was against Sagrada Esperança, 1-0. They drew in at least seven of the matches they played away on their way to winning their 11th title.
It was a season the army side were also impressive on the road, and FC Platinum will need to continue with their impressive defence to get the results.
Mapeza said after their three preparatory games against, Clube Ferroviário de Maputo, Zanaco and Nkana, they are in better condition to try and go against the grain.
“I’m more than happy, as you know in football you can never be happy with preparation as you want to keep on working to improve the team.
“But for now, I’m really more than happy, I had a good opportunity to check our fitness levels in those three matches, and in our last match it was more about the tactical side.”
FC Platinum edged Clube Ferroviário de Maputo 1-0 in the first match, they lost 4-0 to Zanaco and drew 0-0 with Nkana on Saturday.
Asked if the 4-0 loss to Zanaco was indication that they could crack under pressure, Mapeza said: “It was a game we tried most of our new players and the whole idea was to see our fitness levels. They are trying to adapt to our system and they will need time. We had to change the team after that first game.
“And like I said, it was the last game that we tried the tactical aspect of the game and now we just needed to work on our finishing. In terms of our defending, I was really happy although I think we still need to improve on our creativity in the final third.”
Their opponents Agosto won all seven preparatory matches in the past weeks
The Zoran Maqui-coached side scored 27 goals and conceded only two goals in the province of Benguela.
They beat Benguela 9-0, Jackson Garcia 5-0, Desportivo da Huíla 3-1 and 2-0, Académica do Lobito 4-0, Domant do Bengo 1-0 and Sagrada 3-1 win.