By Muziwethu Hadebe
Images by Washington Sibanda
FC Platinum suffered their first defeat in this edition of the TOTAL CAF Champions League away to current holders Esperance in Tunisia last Friday, losing 2-0 before an empty stadium as the current holders were facing a CAF punishment for its fans behaviour in the final last year.
Mysports takes a look at the 1-10 for the Zimbabwe Soccer Champions so far in the competition.
1 FC Platinum has recorded one win so far in the competition.
2 It was FC Platinum’s second match in the group stages meaning they are yet to record a win although they played to a 0-0 with Orlando Pirates at Babourfields stadium in Bulawayo before this defeat. They are yet to score a goal in the two group stages matches so far. FC Platinum, who had conceded two goals ahead of the Esperance match, conceded more than one goal for the first time in a single match from their six matches played so far.
3 The Zvishavane side has failed to score in three consecutive CAF Champions League matches as the team is yet to find the best striking combination since Striker and Soccer star of the year Rodwell Chinyengetere left the club. The platinum miners are on three goals in this competition and all of them scored in the opening three matches, they are however without a goal in their last three matches. They have kept three clean sheets. All of their three goals have come in the second half.
4 Chinyengetere started and completed the opening four matches, scoring one goal before leaving for South Africa. Four is also the number of goals FC Platinum has conceded in their six matches.
5 Until the defeat to Esperance last Friday FC Platinum were on a five match unbeaten run in the competition.
Having missed the opening match, the duo of defender William Stima and midfielder Devon Chafa has gone on to play five consecutive matches and completing the 90 minutes.
Veteran defender Gift Bello who has had a good tournament is also on five completed matches; he missed the second leg against AS Otoho after picking two yellow cards and was suspended.
6 The Friday defeat to Esperance marked the sixth match FC Platinum has played in this edition of the CAF Champions League. They are on one win, four draws and one defeat, scoring three goals through Chinyengetere, Stima and Farai Madhananga.
Goalkeeper and Captain Petros Mhari, defender Elvis Moyo, midfielder Kevin Madzongwe have played all the six matches and completed the 90 minutes.
Madhananga has played all the six matches although he has completed five matches and lasted 85 minutes in the other match against AS Otoho at Mandava stadium; in a match he had picked a yellow card.
Former Hwange forward Gift Mbweti has also played all six matches, having four starts, completing three 90 minutes while lasting 85 minutes in the other and making two substitute appearances to play 19 and 13 minutes in those two matches.
7 FC Platinum will play their seventh CAF Champions League match in this edition on the 2nd of February against Horaya of Guinea at Babourfields stadium in Bulawayo. In the six matches the team has picked seven yellow cards and no player has been sent off. Bello is on two yellow cards which saw him miss one of the matches. On single yellow cards come Chinyengetere, Lawrence Mhlanga, Madzongwe, Madhananga and Elvis Moyo. FC avoided yellow cards in three of their six matches including the last two matches (Group stages), meaning no player is suspended ahead of their seventh match. Any of the four players on a single yellow card will miss the eighth match if they are to pick a yellow against Horoya.
8 Norman Mapeza was left looking for an eighth striking option after trying seven strikers and getting three goals in the six matches namely Gift Mbweti(6 appearances), Lameck Nhamo(4), Rodwell Chinyengetere(4), Albert Eonde(2), Thomas Chideu(2), Ali Sadiki(1)and Mkhokheli Dube(2).
9 Of the 29 registered players, Mapeza has used 20 players, leaving out nine players who are yet to play.
10 As each of the four teams in Group B head to their third group stages match they have picked a combined 10 points together. Orlando Pirates of South Africa are on top with 4 points, Holders Esperance of Tunisia are second and also on 4 points while FC Platinum and Horoya of Guinea have picked a point each.
Group B Fixtures
FC Platinum vs Horoya (Babourfields) 1500 Hrs;
Orlando Pirates vs Esperance (Orlando Stadium) 2100 Hrs
Horoya vs FC Platinum (28 September Stadium) 1300 Hrs
Esperance vs Orlando Pirates (Stade Olympique) 2000 Hrs
Orlando Pirates vs FC Platinum (Orlando Stadium) 2100 Hrs
Esperance vs Horoya (Stade Olympique) 2000 Hrs
Horoya vs Orlando Pirates (28 Setember Stadium) 1300 Hrs
FC Platinum vs Esperance (Babourfields) 1500 Hrs