By Sports Reporter
FC Platinum (Zimbabwe)……..(0) 0
ASC Jaraaf (Senegal) …………..(0) 1
FC PLATINUM’S hopes of reaching the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup group stages suffered a major blow as they lost at home to ASC Jaraaf in a qualification play-off encounter played at National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The West Africans scored the only goal of the match in the 68th minute through Albert Diène to leave the Zimbabwe champions with a huge mountain to climb in next week’s second leg to be played at the Lat-Dior stadium in Dakar, Senegal.
FC Platinum were their own biggest enemies as they dominated possession and created a glut of chances which they failed to convert before the visitors scored the winner against the run of play in the second half.
The hosts’ best chance of securing all three points came in the 25th minute when Silas Songani had a penalty superbly saved by the visiting side’s goalkeeper.
New signing Donald Teguru also had a brilliant opportunity to give FC Platinum the lead a few moments later but was also denied by the goalie.
Although FC Platinum were clearly the better team in the first half they could not convert their dominance in ball possession into goals.
Norman Mapeza’s charges continued their dominance of possession and territory in the second half but yet again lacked the ruthlessness in front of goal as Nomore Chinyerere and another new acquisition Innocent Muchaneka failed to hit the target from good opportunities.
Returning forward Donald Ngoma also headed off target when it looked more difficult to miss than to score and the missed chances finally caught up with FC Platinum as the visitors broke the deadlock through Diene’s effort a few minutes after the hour mark.
FC Platinum dominated the latter stages of the encounter in search of the elusive equaliser with their best chance coming on the stroke of full time when Gift Bello’s late effort came off the post.
In the end ASC Jaraaf held on for a vital win which leaves FC Platinum facing an uphill task in the second leg next weekend.