FC Platinum ended their Caf Champions League campaign in an embarrassing fashion after managing just one point in the group stages of the competition to become the team with the worst record in the campaign.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
On Saturday, they were in Tunis, hoping to secure maximum points against Etoile Du Sahel to try and put a better reading to their group table, but true to their form, they lost 2-0, finishing the campaign with just two goals to their name, while they let in 11 and retained the worst goal difference across all the groups.
The Zimbabwe champions were playing in the lucrative group stages for the second time in their history, having taken part in the previous campaign under Norman Mapeza.
It was against this background that expectations were high among football stakeholders for the Zvishavane side to better their record.
However, the assignment proved to be too big for Pure Platinum Play who could only manage a single point after their 1-all draw with Egyptian Giants Al Ahly at Barbourfields Stadium. FC Platinum, now under the guidance of Pieter De Jong, who took over from Lizwe Sweswe, suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Sudanese side Al Hilal Omdurman in their next match.
In the previous campaign, it was the first time the Zvishavane side were taking part in the group phase stage of the competition and their performance was understandable as they were still learning the ropes in the jungles of African football.
But an improvement was expected this time around, especially considering the resources that the club have at their disposal.
In comparison, Caps United who operate with lesser resources fared better than FC Platinum when they participated in the competition in 2016 under the tutelage of Lloyd Chitembwe.
Caps failed to reach the knockout phase, but they bowed out with dignity after they conjured up two wins to finish with six points, the same as Zamalek.
FC Platinum’s struggles have particularly been in the transfer market where they have failed to bring in the right players for such a high level competition.
To their credit, they have acknowledged their weaknesses and have moved to try and improve the situation by employing De Jongh who will start his own campaign in the next edition that kicks off in August.
For this edition, the former Highlanders coach presided over two matches against Al Ahly and A Hilal which they lost.
He will be going back into the market to shop for better quality after the club lost some of its top players to foreign leagues.
Considering the club only managed two goals from six matches he will look to sharpen his attacking departments ahead of the new campaign.