SOFAPAKA are not losing sleep over their 1-2 loss to FC Platinum in yesterday’s Caf Confederation Cup first leg, preliminary round match at the Nyayo Stadium, Kenya with coach Sam Timbe saying they can overturn the deficit.
IN NAIROBI, KENYA
Despite putting Platinum under pressure in the opening 15 minutes of the match, the hosts went to sleep in the 25th minute when Brian Muzondiwa latched onto a long ball and coolly converted.
While Sofapaka benefited from a slip by Kelvin Moyo two minutes into the second half to equalise, they were again punished 15 minutes from time when Donald Ngoma scored the crucial winner, hitting the roof of the net from inside the box.
But speaking to the media after the match, Sofapaka coach Timbe remain confident they would overhaul the deficit.
“If we play like the way we did and create all those chances, I believe anything can happen. We had a number of chances in the match and when you don’t execute them you get punished like we were.
“But I remember a team from Zambia lost 0-6 and when it came to the return leg, they also won 6-0 and the match went to penalties and they won the game.
“So this is a game of football and anything can happen. We just have to take the chance we create on and make sure we score. So safely I can say in the return leg, it’s still game and anything can happen,” Timbe said.
The Kenyans tall and physical, pushed the Zimbabweans throughout the match, but fell short of finishing.
“You could see that the problem was just finishing upfront, but otherwise with the same number of chances in the second leg, we can do much better,” Timbe said.
Timbe’s main worry was lack of support from home fans as the match was played virtually in an empty stadium and they will now have to face the vociferous Platinum fans in their own backyard at Mandava Stadium.
Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, in his first foray in the Caf inter-club competition, looked at the positives from the match.
“The most import thing is that we got the positive result we needed. We are just coming from the off-season and fitness levels of my players are not where they are supposed to be, but I am happy we did manage to win the match.
“So the result is okay for me. In the return leg, only God knows what will happen,” Mapeza said in post-match interview.
Mapeza, after dropping Daniel Vheremu and Allen Gahadzikwa, chose to keep Nelson Mazivisa and Zambian international defender Aaron Katebe on the bench.
The return leg will be in Zvishavane on February 28 and Platinum will be hoping that home advantage will do the trick for them.
The winner of the two-legged contest will play either Tanzanian side Young Africans or Botswana Defence Forces, who also did battle in the preliminary round, first leg over the weekend.