BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum ….0
GD Sagrada Esperança…0
(GD Sagrada Esperança win 5-4 after penalty shootout)
NEWLY appointed Warriors interim coach Norman Mapeza endured a frustrating afternoon after his FC Platinum side failed to progress to the first round of the CAF Champions League tournament after losing 4-5 to Angolan champions GD Sagrada Esperança on penalties at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The two sides could not be separated in 180 minutes of football in which they also failed to score a single goal and had to be separated through a penalty lottery.
FC Platinum were on the back foot almost immediately in the penalty shootout when Rodwell Chinyengetere missed the first spot kick.
They were made to pay as GD Sagrada Esperança converted all their five spotkicks to secure the win and the spot in the first round of the competition.
Coach Norman Mapeza conceded defeat and he believes the experience is good for his squad ahead of the returning domestic league and the Chibuku Super Cup.
“It’s very unfortunate, the boys tried their best to get goals, but it was not our day. We are picking positives from this game and we are not losing hope yet,” FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said after the match.
“It was a balanced match, but you all know that penalties are tricky and once you reach there, it’s anyone’s game to win. It’s tough for Chinyengetere, but he is a senior player and I know he will deal with that and not be disheartened and also improve.”
This is the second time that the Platinum miners have been bundled out of this tournament at the preliminary round stage by an Angolan outfit.
From the onset they had better chances of winning this encounter looking at the number of opportunities they carved throughout the match.
Chinyengetere in particular, will rue a number of missed chances, which he routinely converts when he is on song.
Congolese forward Ellie Ilunga also missed a tale of chances before he was replaced by Donald Ngoma in the second, with the latter putting in a good shift but still failed to breach the solid Sagrada backline.
Chinyengetere missed what was probably their best chance of the game on the 88th minute mark, when he was set up by Ngoma who had wriggled past two Angolan defenders before releasing the former Baroka attacker.
However, with the goal minder Landu Langanga at his mercy, Chinyengetere’s effort was tame, and the goalie palmed it before it was cleared off the line.
Moments later the miners earned a free kick in a promising position when Ngoma was fouled at the edge of the box, but Chinyerere’s curling effort went wide.
Sagrada on the other hand, also had opportunities they could have converted, but their forwards lacked precision as well.
In truth, the Zvishavane side gave a good account of themselves considering that they were given three weeks to prepare for this competition, against an Angolan side that had been playing even during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.