By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE football champions FC Platinum ground out a positive result away from home after holding former Dynamos coach Callisto Pasuwa’s Nyasa Big Bullets to a goalless draw in a Caf Champions League preliminary round first leg match at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Malawi on Saturday.
The Malawian side has never failed to score at home against any team in the Champions League and had managed to get two draws and a win in their previous three games.
This was a factor as they took to the field to play the Zimbabwean side.
However, for the first time in four games, they could not find the back of the net against Norman Mapeza’s side in what was billed as the battle of the former Zimbabwe Warriors coaches.
Mapeza said he was delighted with the result considering that he was forced to make three last minute changes to his starting line-up after his new signings Rodwell Chinyengetere, Evidence Tendayi and Tawana Chikore failed to get their clearance papers in time to feature in the match.
“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 need to work hard and try to get a result at Barbourfields,” Mapeza said.
His opposite number, Pasuwa was also pleased with the result and believes they also have a good chance of advancing to the next round when the two teams meet in the reverse fixture.
“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.
This is a big result for Platinum FC who will now have to win at home by any margin to advance to the next round.
It will, however, be a big test as well for Platinum who have won just one of their last seven Caf CL games, drawing three times and losing as many.
The return leg will be played on August 23.
A scoring draw will be enough for Nyasa to advance and stand a chance of making it to the group stages, as they did in 2004.