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FC PLATINUM fans and executive have applauded coach Norman Mapeza for guiding the platinum miners to the first round of the Confederations Cup following at 2-1 victory over Sofapaka of Kenya who they beat 4-2 on aggregate.

FC Platinum, who beat the same opponents in Kenya by the same scoreline a fortnight got their all-important goals from Wisdom Mutasa in the 10th and 53rd minutes.

“We were very much impressed by our coach and the spirit showed by our players after Sofapaka had taken the lead.

“They had the aantage but the true test was coming from behind and leading.

“We welcome the win,” said Chido Chizondo, the club’s spokesperson.

On Saturday at Mandava, FC Platinum found the equaliser when Brian Muzondiwa shook of his marker on the right and fed Wisdom Mutasa.

The son of former FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa let go a shot that Sofapaka goalkeeper Everriste Mutitimana never saw.

The goal brought a smile to his father who was watching the match from the VIP arena.

Mutasa came again to haunt the visitors in the 53rd minute.

A cross from Raphael Muduviwa into the box was flicked on by Muzondiwa to Mutasa who drilled the ball past Mutitimana.

The Kenyans had drawn first blood through Addul Razak Fiston in the 5th minute after a blind pass to from Gift Bello was intercepted by Fiston whose curling shot went past the diving goalkeeper Petros Mhari.

Since taking over as the FC Platinum coach last year, Mapeza only lost one match at Mandava to Highlanders and an away match to Triangle.

His record has been very impressive and on Saturday, even the fans were applauding him, holding placards that had his name inscribed on them for the entire match.

On Saturday, despite going a goal down, the platinum miners did not press the panic button but stuck to their passing game and at one point they had to string 16 passes together, reminding many of Spanish giants Barcelona’s tiki-taka.

The performance by FC Platinum frustrated the Kenyans the whole afternoon.

“The whole team played well and we produced a better performance. My philosophy is playing the game and keeping possession.

“We kept possession because we knew they would tire because it was hot. We gave them a soft goal just like in Kenya but I am happy that we managed to come back into the game,” Mapeza said.

Source : The Herald

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