ZIMBABWE international and Orlando Pirates forward Kudakwashe Mahachi has warned his side not to underestimate FC Platinum ahead of their Caf Champions League Group B clash at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Saturday.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
And Mahachi, who played against the two-time Premier Soccer League champions several times during his days at Chicken Inn admits that the Norman Mapeza-coached side might appear as underdogs, but they present an acid test to the highly-rated Buccaneers.
The 25-year-old reckons that while fans might be ecstatic about Orlando Pirates’ coming to Zimbabwe, FC Platinum will be out to make it a night to remember in their maiden mini-league appearance.
“It will obviously be a tough match because it’s a group stage match. Nobody wants to lose at this stage, there are a lot of expectations,” Mahachi said.
“For me, it means a lot to be playing back home, but I know this game means a lot to FC Platinum who, like any other team, want success.
“I know them, I played against them back then and I know they are not an easy go because of their flawless type of play. They are a good side with a number of experienced players who know how to win games and going forward, they deserve to be respected.
“This will be my first time to play at this stage of this competition and I will be looking forward to do well for my team and for the fans.”
The talented left footer will be bubbling with confidence having scored his first for Pirates over the weekend when they played against Highlands Park.
Pirates return to Zimbabwe after 22 years since booting out Caps United out of the Champions League 3-1 on aggregate in 1997.
The 1995 champions, also home to Warriors midfielder Marshal Munetsi, have not been impressive on the African safari where they last appeared in 2015.
Though FC Platinum’s profile in this competition may not match Pirates’, the Mapeza-coached side will fear no one having steadily sailed through the initial stages of the competition where they knocked out CNaPS of Madagascar and Congolese side AS Otoho Dyo. They will be seeking inspiration from the Caps United class of 2016 that left a lasting impression at continental level for a giant-killing act where they humbled USM Algiers and Zamalek.