Motor Action’s aspirations for the Caf Confederation Cup hang by the thread as they entertain Black Leopards in a preliminary round return leg tie at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
The match is delicately balanced at 1-1 from the first leg, making the encounter a winner-takes-all. Whichever team wins the match will progress, that much is fairly simple.
A goalless draw, meanwhile, could be enough to send the Mighty Bulls through, while a high-scoring draw would ensure the struggling South African side remain in the competition.
Motor Action will go into the match in buoyant mood following their 1-0 win over Dynamos in a friendly match last Sunday while Black Leopards’ Absa Premiership match against Golden Arrows, which they had hoped to use as preparations for tomorrow’s match ended prematurely after teargas from a political rally engulfed the stadium.
The hosts will be looking to make amends from last year’s disappointment when the team crashed out of the Caf Champions League in the first round to Ivory Coast’s Asec Mimosas, in front of their home fans.
On the other hand, Black Leopards, who are home to two Zimbabwe internationals Kingston Nkhata and Zvenyika Makonese, will be looking to atone for their disappointment on the local front with a good showing in Africa.
Nkhata, who did not play any part in the first leg as he was “rested” is expected to lead the Black Leopards this time around, while Makonese is not registered for the competition.
Motor Action coach Joey Antipas is bullish ahead of the make-or- break encounter.
“The preparations have gone on very well. We are more than ready for the match,” he told NewsDay Sport yesterday. “This match means a lot to me and the whole team after last year’s disappointment. It’s a new year and with it come new fortunes. But I want to highlight that football is a game of patience and I urge fans who are coming to watch the match to be patient with us.”
Antipas welcomes back into the team captain Marlon Jani and steely defender Godfrey Moyo who were on national duty with the Warriors in Burundi while right-back Passmore Bernard has fully recovered from a knee injury he picked up against Dynamos.
“They (Jani and Moyo) came back with no injuries so they should be ready for the match. Their experience is vital at the back. Passmore (Bernard) has recovered from the knock so I have no injury worries,” said Antipas.