By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
FC Platinum held Angolan side Sagrada Esperanca to a goalless draw in the first leg of the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.
The game was played at the Estadio Municipal dos Coquerios stadium in Luanda, Angola on Saturday afternoon.
Platinum suffered a huge set back in the second half of the match as youthful player Kelvin Mangiza was shown a red card after receiving a second yellow.
This saw the reigning champions being reduced to 10 men, a disadvantage that could have resulted in their defeat.
However, experienced gaffer Norman Mapeza made some tactical changes that ensured his troops returned home with crucial away point ahead of the second leg.
The second leg between the two teams is scheduled for September 18, 2021 at the National Sports Stadium.
The ultimate winner between Platinum and Esperanca will then proceed to the next round of the continental’s prestigious tournament.
This is the second time the Zvishavane based side is representing Zimbabwe at the continental stage since the out break of Covid-19 in 2019.
In the same competition last season the three time champions failed to reach the group stages after they were dramatically knocked out 4-1 on aggregate by Tanzanian giants Simba SC.
Albeit, Mapeza and his men were then relegated to the CAF Confederatons Cup.
Unfortunately, they failed to make it through to the next round again as they lost in the Group Stages playoffs.
The 2019 Premier League champions lost 2-0 to Senegalese opponents ASC Jaraaf and this resulted in their elimination at an early stage.