BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM gaffer Lizwe Sweswe says he is not frightened by Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel, who they host on Saturday in a Caf Champions League Group B encounter at Barbourfields Stadium.
The platinum miners got their campaign to a bad start after losing 2-1 at the hands of Sudanese Al Hilal last week in a match Sweswe felt they could have done better.
The 2019 Soccer Star of the Year finalist Never Tigere scored FC Platinum’s consolation goal. In a group that also includes Egyptian giants Al Ahly, the Zvishavane-based side is considered, on paper, the whipping boys.
However, Sweswe, who has been holding fort at FC Platinum since the departure of Norman Mapeza, believes they will slay one of the African big boys in the group.
The former Tsholotsho man is not reading much into Etoile du Sahel’s history, declaring that his side will be no push-overs.
“We need a win at home. They are a tough team. Looking at their past exploits, one can fear them, but we are not focusing much on their name because we risk losing focus,” Sweswe said.
“We need to approach this match high in confidence. Football is changing, any team can win and for us the message we have been telling the boys, is to remain focused. This competition is a game of points, the more points we get mean our chances of proceeding to the next stage. Winning all our home games will boost our chances to progress.”
The match is being played in Bulawayo because FC Platinum’s home ground, Mandava Stadium, does not meet Caf standards.
Etoile du Sahel are atop in Group B after beating Egyptians giants Al Ahly 1-0 courtesy of a Yassine Chikhaoui goal. FC Platinum are third following their defeat in the opening round of the campaign. Sweswe knows his boys will need to be at their penetrative best if they are to navigate their way past the North Africans who are well-known not only for their high endurance levels, but for their tact and physic.
And it will be interesting to see how Sweswe will set up his team, in particular the forward line.
In that department, he has Rodwell Chinyengetere, Gift Mbweti and Guyve Nsiala available while Lameck Nhamo and Perfect Chikwende remain out due to injury.