Makomborero Mutimukulu in CONAKRY, Guinea
AC Horoya . . . . . . . . . (0) 2
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . 0
FC PLATINUM could have played this CAF Champions League group stage match for an additional 90 minutes and still fail to find a way to score.
Once again, the Zimbabwean champions flattered to deceive as they knocked the ball around with panache, but terribly fell short in the attacking third.
One of football’s worst kept secrets is that goals win you matches.
And when you don’t score, like what FC Platinum have done in more than six hours of Group B action, Africa’s premier club competition has a way of brutally reminding you what this game is all about.
If goals are the currency in football, it therefore, follows that FC Platinum are broke and deserve to be bottom of Group B with a single point from four matches.
Yet for long periods of this clash at Stade du 28 Septembre, the Zimbabwean champions appeared to be in the groove.
However, Horoya got the goals through talisman Mandela Ocansey and Hudu Yakubu and completed a double over Norman Mapeza’s men.
At kick off, the temperatures ranged over 30 degrees Celsius and the hosts looked intent on turning up the heat even more.
With Orlando Pirates having fallen 0-2 to Esperance in Tunisia earlier on, Horoya knew that a win would spur them into second place.
The home side looked to be in business mode with a high octane start that had their fans briefly believing that a harvest of goals was in the offing.
But Mapeza looked to have set up his stall well as Horoya struggled to bring Ocansey into the game.
On 21 minutes, the hosts breached the FC Platinum defence lines, but Petros Mhari pulled a super save before Kelvin Madzongwe cleared from the line. The water break on 30 minutes gave Mapeza a chance to give a few pointers at close range.
FC Platinum had better chances thereafter, with Albert Eonde heading over, before Charles Sibanda was denied what would have been a glorious goal by Horoya goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye.
Goalless at half time!
However, it wouldn’t stay like that for long as Ocansey looped a header over Mhari on 57 minutes.
Yakubu then doubled Horoya’s lead when he zoomed a shot between Mhari and his near post.
The Zimbabwean champions were beaten and beaten clean.
The long journey back home starts with the biggest question being FC Platinum’s impotence.
Mapeza felt that his side had paid the ultimate price for committing errors that are not acceptable at this level of the game.
“We made two mistakes and got punished. At this level you cannot afford to make such mistakes.
“It’s a learning curve for us and now we have to make sure that we do our best in the last two games,” said Mapeza.
Mapeza’s Horoya counterpart Patrice Neveu believes his men were worthy winners of this contest.
“We deserved to win the game, we made use of our chances.
“However, in the first half we were unsettled and made mistakes that gave FC Platinum some chances,” said Neveu.
Horoya not only completed a double over FC Platinum, but also eased into second place on the group standings with seven points behind defending champions Esperance, who have the same number of points.
Former champions Pirates slipped into third place, while the winless and goalless FC Platinum, who are now out of contention for quarter-final slot remained rooted at the bottom of the group.
AC Horoya: K. Ndiaye, M. Fofana, A. Camara, G. Asante, S. Kyei, B. Sakin (Mohammed 46), B. Mensah (S. Keita 55), A. Camara, B. Haba, M. Ocansey (P. Razak 80 mins)
FC Platinum: P. Mhari, Madhanhanga, K. Madzongwe, N. Tigere (R. Pavari 75mins), C. Sibanda, W. Stima, G. Bello, R. Kutsanzira (G. Murwira 75 mins) L. Mhlanga, A. Eonde (L. Nhamo 87 mins) E. Moyo
Source : The Herald