MAPEZA WARY OF ANGOLANS
14 December 2017
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza says they have to prepare well if they are to get the better of Angolan champions Clube Desportivo de Agosto in the CAF Champions League preliminary round.
The Zimbabwean champions were drawn against the Angolans in the CAF Champions league draw held in Cairo yesterday.
Mapeza is aware they have a tough battle as their opponents have won the league title a record 11 times since the club was formed in 1977.
“I know they are one of the best teams from Angola. But we have to accept the draw. It was always going to be difficult and on another day, we could have got much tougher opponents. It could have been TP Mazembe.
“It is part of football. We have to prepare thoroughly and try to do well in the competition. It does not matter it is a team from Angola or Mauritius, the challenge is always the same,” Mapeza told H-Metro.
FC Platinum, who have just won their first league title, will have to move mountains to qualify for the first round.
Mapeza’s charges will face the Angolan side away first and then home in the reverse fixture.
And if they can brush aside the highly experienced army-owned Angolan side, they are likely to face ABSA Premiership side Bidvest Wits.
Bidvest Wits of South Africa are favourites when they face Pamplemousses of Mauritius.
Mapeza said it was important for them to concentrate on the challenge at hand.
“That is why we also won the title, to compete in these tough tournaments and we have to try and be counted. So going into that battle, the chances will be 50-50,” he said.
The champions are leaving no stone unturned as they try to build a team capable of causing shockwaves in Africa.
They have already called in foreign strikers from Cameroon and Ghana who are undergoing trials at Mandava with hope that at least one of them can make the grade.
“The guys are being monitored by the coaches in Zvishavane right now and it is still too early to say anything about them. We will see what happens,” Mapeza said.
On the champions league draw, CAF said: “Fifty-nine (59) were engaged for the Total CAF Champions League 2018 and fifty-four (54) for the Total CAF Confederation Cup 2018.
“Only eight federation did not engage their clubs namely Cape Verde, Chad, Eritrea, Namibia, Reunion, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Somalia.”