The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Sunday released fixtures for the Total Champions League’s 2019-20 season.
Nyasa Big Bullets have been drawn against Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League champions FC Platinum in the preliminary round.
Unlike last season, Bullets will start this campaign at home with the first leg scheduled to be played on the weekend of 9-11 August, while the return leg is set for the weekend of 23-25 August in Zimbabwe.
According to the draw, the winner over the two legs will face either UD Songo of Mozambique or Simba of Tanzania.
Speaking on the draw, Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa, who will be facing a team from his home country said: “l was not expecting to be drawn against Platinum considering it’s from my home country [and] that makes it a bit difficult for me as a coach. It comes with a lot of pressure for me as well as the Platinum camp.
“But that’s the game, sometimes you meet opponents whom if you had the chance you would avoid. So it’s now on to us as a team to plan and try to come out victors in the two games. Platinum is good, but we are going to fight for our dear life.
Asked if starting the tie at home gives Bullets an edge over the opposition, Pasuwa responded: “It can’t be like that, it’s actually the opposite of it. It’s a lot better to start away then come home because knowing the result from the first leg helps you to properly plan for the second leg. You can control a lot of the football game aspects when at home [and] with your fans also coming in importantly controls the atmosphere at the stadium while you try to do the rest [on the pitch].”
Pasuwa and the FC Platinum mentor Norman Mapeza have both coached the Zimbabwe national football team and on the two coaches clashing in the Champions League, the Bullets coach said:
“I grew up together with Norman in the same neighbourhood and we played together. It’s like we are brothers both on and off the field. But that counts less in a game of football. He is a good coach and I respect him a lot, so it will be fireworks in that fixture.”