Nyasa Big Bullets coach Callisto Pasuwa has blamed immaturity on the part of his charges for their failure to get past Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum in Saturday’s CAF Champions League preliminary round, second leg tie.
A scores draw would have seen the People’s Team progressing to the next stage and they twice came from behind to level the scores against the hosts at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo. However, the platinum miners won 3-2.
Pasuwa felt that his players were punished for making mistakes at the back, which he attributed to “immaturity” since most of his players are still young.
Pasuwa was quoted by The Sunday Mail of Zimbabwe as having said: “It’s at this stage where we need maturity. The boys were playing the ball in front of the goalkeeper and making mistakes. Therefore, we were being punished.
“They are still young, they are still learning. At that stage, if you make a small mistake, you are punished.”
But the former Zimbabwe national team and Dynamos FC mentor and his assistant Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda said they were still proud of the team’s performance.
Pasuwa’s project of young players has also won his FC Platinum counterpart Norman Mapeza’s admiration.
Commenting on the way forward after two successive failed attempts to get past the preliminary stage, Bullets administration director Albert Chigoga said: “As a club, we will meet and do a postmorterm of what has happened. There are loads of positives though.”
Last year, Bullets were also kicked out at the same stage by Gor Mahia of Kenya.
In Saturday’s match, FC Platinum played the greater part of the game with 10-men following the expulsion of Cameroonian forward Albert Eonde.
For a lunge on Precious Sambani, Eonde was given a straight red card by Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe in the 26th minute.
The Platinum striker was in tears as he walked off the field. It was an action packed, see-saw battle in which FC Platinum faced elimination with the scores level at 2-2, until substitute Perfect Chikwende ensured the hosts made it to the next round with a header 10 minutes before the end of the game.
Bullets raised false hopes after they twice levelled the scores through Peter Banda and Patrick Phiri. The other scorers for Pure Platinum Play were Devon Chafa and Never Tigere, with Chafa scoring from the penalty spot.