ZIMBABWE'S representatives in the CAF Champions League, FC Platinum crashed out of the competition in the preliminary round after losing 4-5 to GD Sagrada Esperança of Angola on penalties in a match played at the National Sports stadium Saturday.
After managing to hold their opponents to a goalless draw in Angola last week, FC Platinum were overwhelming favourites to secure the win on home soil and progress to the first round of the continental club competition.
The Zimbabwean side however failed to breach the visitors' defence which meant the two sides needed the lottery of penalties to break the deadlock after they settled for goalless draws in both legs.
FC Platinum were under pressure from the onset after two-time Soccer Star of the Year Rodwell Chinyengetere missed the first spot-kick. They were made to pay as GD Sagrada Esperança converted all their five spot kicks to secure the win and the spot in the first round of the competition.
This is the second time that the Platinum miners have been bundled out of this tournament at the preliminary round stage by an Angolan outfit.
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza conceded that his charges were second best over the two legs.
"It's very unfortunate, the boys tried their best to get goals but it was not our day.
"We are picking positives from this game and we are not losing hope yet. It was a balanced match but you all know that penalties are tricky and once you reach there, it's anyone's game to win.
"It's tough for Chinyengetere, but he is a senior player and I know he will deal with that and not be disheartened and also improve," Mapeza said.
Despite their early exit, the Zvishavane side gave a good account of themselves considering that they were given just three weeks to prepare for this competition, against an Angolan side that had been playing even during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.