Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Champions FC Platinum was beaten 2-1 by Esperance de Tunis in its final Group B match played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
This means that FC Platinum finished its first ever group stage campaign at the foot of the table with two points from their six matches while Espérance de Tunis, who are the reigning African champions topped the pool with an unbeaten record and a haul of 14 points.
Esperance chose to rest some of their star players since they had already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.
In the 8th minute of the match, Mohamed Meskini’s long-range free-kick beat FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari to give the North Africans the lead.
The hosts equalised in the 62nd minute through Ali Sadiki. However, the Tunisians reclaimed their lead on 83 minutes when Mhari fluffed a speculative shot from Adem Rjaeibi.
Speaking after the match, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said:
We have been improving with each outing. There is a massive improvement and we conceded soft goals in this match. It’s a learning curve for us.
Today we failed to collect maximum points but it was a good experience for me as a coach and the players.