Norman Mapeza, the FC Platinum coach, said that a lack of match fitness contributed to his side’s 0-1 loss at the hands of Senegalese side ASC Jaraaf in a CAF Confederations Cup play-off first leg match played at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Winger Silas Songani’s penalty kick was saved by ASC Jaraaf goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye while defender Gift Bello inexplicably failed to hit the target unmarked a metre from the goal line in added time.
Mapeza believes that had his players been playing competitive football regularly, they would have taken their chances. He said:
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We had chances (to score) and I can’t fault the boys who worked hard. The guys have not been playing football for quite some time, so the sharpness is not there. I’m sure if we were playing football regularly, with those missed chances, we could have buried one or two.
FC Platinum now have to win 2-0 or by any two-goal margin in the return leg in Dakar on at the weekend to make it to the group stages of the competition.
The Zimbabwean government banned football activities in the country in March last year as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.