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Sikhumbuzo Moyo in BULAWAYO
SHEER brute force and determination saw FC Platinum turn on the power in the second half to outsmart and outscore hosts UD Songo of Mozambique in the second leg of the CAF Champions League encounter in Beira on Saturday.
Down 0-2 before the half hour mark, the Zimbabwe champions were facing possible elimination.
But, everything changed after the break.
“Our plan remained the same, especially in terms of changing pace when going forward,’’ said coach Lizwe Sweswe.
‘’After being unfortunately down by two goals in the first half, we told the boys not to panic but to stick to the game plan.
“We knew that a two-nil scoreline was very dangerous to our opponents because if we just got a goal, they would panic and start coming hard on us in search of a third goal to cushion themselves.
“But, in the process, they would be opening up spaces in the back and that is exactly what happened.’’
That vital away goal for FC Platinum came in the 52nd minute through a flashing header by Rodwell Chinyengetere off a Gift Mbweti cross from the right flank.
The goal changed the identity of the team that would now progress to the group stage as it meant and, in the 61st minute, they stunned the Mozambicans by drawing level through Never Tigere.
The visitors were now playing like men possessed as they kept on probing forward instead of defending the two goals with Perfect Chikwende a handful to the hosts’ defence while midfield enforcer Kelvin Madzongwe was commanding the area well.
“Being 2-0 down in the first half actually gave us the power to push forward and show the world who we are,’’ said hat-trick hero Rodwell Chinyengetere.
“The coach gave us specific instructions and we did just that and here we are now, through to the group stage of the tournament.’’