Norman Mapeza warns against complacency
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has warned his side to guard against complacency when they host Mozambican side Costa do Sol in the return leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round tie in Harare this weekend.
The Zimbabwe champions carry two away goals from their match in Mozambique into the return leg at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday after edging Costa do Sol 1-2 at the weekend, courtesy of second half goals by midfielder Ralph Kawondera and striker Elias Maguri.
Kawondera grabbed the platinum miners’ opener after 70 minutes when he headed into an empty net after the home side’s goalkeeper failed to handle a shot, with the poor clearance falling on the path of the alert midfielder.
Costa do Sol levelled the score four minutes from full time with Mario Capena capitalising on a Petros Mhari blunder. The FC Platinum goalkeeper misjudged a cross from the right flank for an unmarked Capena to push the ball into an unguarded net.
Maguri, however, grabbed the winner for the Zvishavane-based side with a speculative long range strike just outside FC Platinum’s half which sailed past an outdrawn Costa do Sol goalkeeper a minute from stoppage time.
“Massive goal, that was a phenomenal strike,” Mapeza said of Maguri’s winning goal. “We won, but we need to avoid complacency because they will be coming here looking for a positive result. This means they will be playing without pressure.
“We have to guard against complacency and if we can get a goal, it would be an advantage to us. I’m very happy with the boys’ performance considering the fact that we worked together for only a few days (three days) before we flew to Mozambique.”
“Coming into this game I think we need to work on a few things which I felt we didn’t execute properly. In terms of defending we did well but at times we conceded unnecessary corner kicks and set pieces, an area we need to work on.
“We also need to improve in our midfield where we were giving position away unnecessarily. Most importantly, we also need to work on our finishing…we could have done better in that department. We had a few good opportunities, especially in the second half, but the big issue is all about complacency, we need to guard against complacency.”
The former Warriors captain and coach returned to FC Platinum days before the Mozambique trip. He left the club last year after delivering two premiership championships with the club.
He replaced Dutchman Hendrikus Pieter De Jongh, who parted ways with Pure Platinum Play on mutual grounds. De Jongh, a holder of a Uefa A licence from his homeland Netherlands was barred from sitting on the bench in continental football because he did not possess the requisite Caf A coaching certificate.