By Sports Reporter
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has backed his charges to secure their place in the group stages of the CAF Champions League when they face Tanzanian giants Simba SC in the return leg of their first round tie at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
The Zvishavane based side managed to secure a slim advantage from the first leg after they edged out Simba 1-0 with the goal coming from Perfect Chikwende in the 17th minute at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Speaking to reporters after landing in Dar es Salaam for the return leg fixture set for Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Mapeza maintained their main task was to complete the job they started back home by eliminating Simba from the competition.
“We have come to do the same task of seeking victory and we are ready to get the win and qualify,” Mapeza told reporters at Julius Nyerere Airport.
“There is nothing else we need, all we know is our opponents are psychologically prepared and we know they are a tough team to play at home, we respect them but we are not afraid of them.
“We got a 1-0 win back home, we should have scored more but even the slim advantage is good for us because we will strive to score goals away, we will push them and the more they move forward, we have the chance to kill them off on counter-attacks.”
Asked on what style he will deploy against Simba, Mapeza explained: “Don’t worry, we know how to deal with them. I have been following their games and I know how to handle them, it will be a good game and our main target is to reach the group stage.”
FC Platinum made it to the next round after a 4-1 aggregate win over Costa De Sol of Mozambique, winning the first leg played in Maputo 2-1 before claiming a 2-0 win in the return leg played in Harare.
Their opponents qualified for the second round after a 1-0 aggregate win over Plateau United of Nigeria and their coach Sven Vandenbroeck is confident they will turn the tables and claim a place in the elite group stages.
“We lost 1-0 away but we now have 90 minutes to battle and make things right,” Vandenbroeck told reporters in Dar es Salaam.
“We know what to expect from our opponents and we are ready to make Tanzanians proud, we want to reach the group stage and we have to win the match.”