FC Platinum started their Champions League campaign with a goalless draw with South African giants Orlando Pirates. The match was played at a packed Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday. The stadium came alive as thousands of enthusiastic supporters packed the ceremonial home of soccer.
The Soweto giants lifted Africa’s premium club competition in 1995 when they defeated Ivory Coast giants Asec Mimosas 3-2 on aggregate.
Here we take a look at five things we learnt after the encounter between Norman Mapeza’s side and Orlando Pirates.
1)Bulawayo people love their football. Be it January, when the January disease is biting, they will still pay $5, $10 and $20 to watch the world`s most beautiful game at Barbourfields Stadium.
2)Investing in quality, yields quality. That is what FC Platinum showcased on Saturday. A quality side produces quality football, which should be a lesson for all local premiership sides.
3)Highlanders Football Club, by all means should forge an alliance with Orlando Pirates. The way their fans supported Pirates and how much the South African side appreciated the support, should be the spark needed to set the ball rolling .The Bosso brand is big and should tap into that crowd witnessed on Saturday.
4)Patriotism and Bulawayo people- its water and oil. 75% of the crowd supported visitors Orlando Pirates, although it’s likely to change when FC Platinum host Esperance and FC Horoya, especially the match against the former who once humiliated Highlanders 7-1 on aggregate in 2001.
5)If well marketed, the local game has the potential to be counted amongst the elite in Africa. If such crowds attend PSL matches week in-week out, the local game will definitely grow.