FC Platinum 1-0 CNaPS Sport
FC Platinum won 2-1 on aggregate
ZVISHAVANE-GRITTY midfielder, Farai Madhanhanga, was for the second game running on top of the situation helping FC Platinum advance to the first round of the 2018/2019 Caf Champions League at a the expense of battling Madagascar champions CNaPS at Mandava on Wednesday.
The former Harare City man muscled his way into the box before squaring the ball into the path of Rodwell Chinyengetere who slotted home the only goal of the match.
The miners had last week restricted the Madagascar champions to a 1-1 stalemate away in Antanananrivo, and Wednesday’s result means they advance to the next stage of this competition on a 2-1 aggregate win.
Last time they retreated from the competition at the first hurdle after completing back-to-back defeats at the hands of Primero Agosto of Angola, now they have gone a step further setting the stage for a promising campaign.
The premiership kings have been firing from all cylinders on the local front and now seem to have warmed to the demands of the continental game right in time to meet the long cherished wish for the club of reaching at least the group stages of Africa’s premier club knock-out competition.
A heavy downpour hit Zvishavane before the match and the pitch was not conducive for FC Platinum’s free flowing football, the visitors also used to playing on an artificial turf also struggled to cope with the conditions of the pitch.
Coach, Norman Mapeza, threw in Lameck Nhamo in the starting team and the former Triangle United man did not disappoint either on his debut.
The former Warriors gaffer, however, refused to be drawn into commenting about individual performance in his team and expressed his satisfaction in the way the team played as a group.
“It was not easy . . . in the second half we were a bit cautious (but) when we got that goal it opened up the game, we were strong at the back and I am happy we managed to get a result.
“I knew they were going to come at us but credit to the boys they did very well, we now prepare for our next game.
“My worry is now for the boys we have been playing football since January and it is not easy for the boys but I am happy our recovery programme has been going on well,” he said.
Despite their progression, coach Mapeza felt his men should learn the tactic of killing the game in the later stages of the competition.
The gaffer played football at the highest level during his playing days and is aware of the importance of getting over the line when the going gets tough.
“When playing in Africa we need to learn to kill the game, we were leading one nil but the players kept on going you need to take the ball to the corner flag and kill off some time.
“We need to learn to manage the game,” insisted Mapeza.
The miners started on the front foot and as early as the fifth minute, Madhanhanga came close to scoring his second in this duel after Gift Mbweti had pushed the ball into his path but the former’s strike was inches over.
Moments later, Devon Chafa’s powerful strike from distance was repelled by the impressive CNaPS goalie, Jean Randrianasolo, but Chinyengetere failed to time his run to perfection to bury the rebound.
The miners continued to be on the front foot, fowards Mbweti and Chinyengetere had a smart exchange in the final third but the former failed again to beat the inspired Randrianasolo.
Midway through the first half the visitors got a rare chance to taste the resolve of Petros Mhari but striker Arnauld Randrinantenaina flighted his free-kick over the bar.
The visitors came a more determined side after the breather threatening to pull a shocker in enemy territory.
On the hour mark versatile defender William Sitima timed his run to perfection, accelerating to thwart the run of livewire Madagascar international Lalaina Manampisoa who was charging at goal.
Two minutes later, ever green Madhanhanga charged at the opponent before releasing the ball into the path of 2018 Premiership top scorer Chinyengetere who had a simple task of just slotting it beyond the reach of the opposite goalie.
The Madascar side refused to be cowed into submission, Milison Niasexe was through on goal but former DeMbare defender, Gift Bello, summoned his load of experience and sacrificed a yellow card for the team when he hacked down the opponent.
Five minutes before full-time, Thomas Chideu should have wrapped the game as a contest but missed a clear chance after some fine work by his teammates.
CNaPS coach, Patrick Andriambololona was full of complaints after watching his team fail to progress to the first round of this competition for the second time this year.
“We had our chances we should have scored but we failed to score, again there was an issue with the referee, he should have given a red card.
“There were some changes in the FC Platinum team so it was like learning a new team all together that was difficult on our part, they had players that did not play in Madagascar.
“The terrain was also heavy for us and the water on the pitch after the rain made us tired but the humidity was okay for us, the problem was not on our defence but our strikers let us down, that is where we lost the game,” said Andriambololona.
FC Platinum: P Mhari, R Muduviwa, E Moyo, W Sitima, G Bello, K Madzongwe, D Chafa, F Madhanhanga, G Mbweti (L Mhlanga 86th min), R Chinyengetere, L Nhamo (T Chideu 62nd min)
CNaPS Sport: J Randrianasolo, L Manampisoa, J Bourahim, E Tolojanahary (R Fetraniaina 22nd min), R Rojaonarivelo, T Sandratriniaina, T Miandrisoa (M Niasexe 65th min), A Andrianavalona (T Randrianiaina 32nd min), O Ramiandrison, A Randrinantenaina, T Andrianirina-Chronicle