Zimbabwe: Sweswe Pleads for Support

6 December 2019

FC Platinum coach Lizwe Sweswe has appealed to the local football supporters to rally behind his team in their second CAF Champions' League game against Tunisian giants Etoile du Sahel.

The two teams clash at Barbourfields tomorrow.

Sweswe believes the 12th man could be an important factor in Group B as their opponents -- Etoile du Sahel, Al Ahly and Al Hilal -- command huge following in their countries.

FC Platinum feel they also need to maximise on home advantage if they hope to be competitive.

"The aim is to try and win at home. I am appealing to the local football supporters to rally behind us because if you look at the clubs that we have in our group, they all command huge fan bases," said Sweswe.

"It's about the numbers sometimes, you cannot underestimate the power of the 12th man.

"That is why I am appealing to Zimbabweans to also lend us support."

The platinum miners opened their group campaign with a 1-2 loss away to Al Hilal of Sudan last week.

They are playing in the group stages for their second time but they have been forced to again host their matches in Bulawayo.

Their Mandava home ground, and fortress, has failed to meet minimum requirements to host CAF matches.

FC Platinum are still hoping to do better than their last outing when they finished win-less.

Sweswe wants his charges to respond positively from last week's defeat by Al Hilal in Sudan.

But Etoile du Sahel, who were scheduled to arrive in Bulawayo yesterday, are experienced campaigners.

"I believe the team drew some positives that we hope to build on for the rest of this campaign.

"The most encouraging thing is that the morale is good among the boys. They have all been pushing hard in training and I am sure they are ready to do their best.

"It's unfortunate that the games are not being shown on television but we have managed to do research on the internet about our opponents.

"Remember we played a Tunisian side, Esperance, in the last campaign and I think they play more or less the same kind of football," said Sweswe.

Etoile du Sahel began their campaign well after edging Egyptian giants and record eight-time African champions, Al Ahly, 1-0 in Tunisia.

The win, however, has been shrouded in controversy after the Egyptians lodged a complaint with CAF.

They are protesting against a number of decisions by referee Joshua Bondo of Botswana which they felt could have influenced the outcome of the match.

Tomorrow's match between FC Platinum and Etoile du Sahel will be handled by Angolan referee Helder Martins De Carvalho.

He will be assisted by his compatriots Jerson Dos Santos and Ivanildo Meirelles De O Sanches Lopes.

Fixtures

Today: 18:00: AS Vita v Raja Casablanca - Group D

21:00: Al Ahly v Al Hilal - Group B

21:00: Esperance v JS Kabylie - Group D

Tomorrow: 15:00: FC Platinum v Etoile du Sahel - Group B

15:00: Petro de Luanda v USM Alger - Group C

18:00: Zesco United v TP Mazembe - Group A

18:00: Zamalek v Primeiro de Agosto - Group A

21:00: Wydad Casablanca v Mamelodi Sundowns - Group C

All times CAT

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