By Tawanda Tafirenyika
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is pleased with his team’s performance after holding Malawian side Nyasa Big Bullets to a 0-0 draw in a Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg match in Malawi on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe champions were forced to make three last-minute changes to the line-up after new signings Rodwell Chinyengetere, Evidence Tendayi and Tawana Chikore failed to get their clearance papers in time to feature in the match.
Mapeza felt the trio’s absence disrupted his game plan but remains confident his team will advance into the next round.
“After hearing the news that three of our guys are not registered and were not going to take part in this match, what do you expect? It’s a fantastic result, but of course we would have wanted to win the match but I’m happy with a draw. The guys worked so hard and will need to continue working hard and see what happens in two weeks’ time. We will be playing at home so we have an advantage but we will need to work hard and try to get a result at Barbourfields,” Mapeza said.
Asked if the goalless draw gives his side an advantage, Mapeza responded, “Somehow yes, I will take it as my side has a 60% chance because the opponent couldn’t maximise on their home advantage. We would have an advantage now because we would be playing the next match at home.”
Nyasa Big Bullets coach Kalisto Pasuwa was also complimentary of his players, and also rates high their chance of progressing to the next round.
“It was a very tactical game where we were playing a very experienced side, but I feel my boys did well in terms of keeping positions.
It is in the attacking phase that we were lacking. We want to do more in terms of attacking because the opponents were having numbers in their defending with nine players behind the ball,” Pasuwa said.