HARARE City assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku says he is disappointed by the team’s start to their Caf Confederations Cup campaign after they gave a 2-goal first half lead away in their 3-2 win over AS Adema of Madagascar in the preliminary round first leg at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.
BY HENRY MHARA
Masuku, however, is confident the team will still go through to the next round though.
Raphael Manuvire scored a brace on his competitive debut, including the victory clincher towards the end of the match, after another new acquisition Ronald Chitiyo had been on target, also to save City’s blushes ahead of the conclusive second leg in Antananarivo in two weeks’ time.
Florent Rajaoniasy and Voavy Kassah netted for AS Adema inside a frantic opening four minutes of the second half, two goals that might prove priceless in a fortnight.
Coach Taurai Mangwiro had emphasised on the need for a clean sheet throughout the week preceding this match.
He might have been left disappointed in the way his defence conceded the two away goals.
In the first half, the home side was pretty good, restricting the visitors to some pot shots. It was in the second period that they went to sleep to haul the visitors back into the contest conceding in the 46th and 50th minute – both from set pieces.
“We were quite disappointed as a team with the way we conceded those two goals. Communication wise, it was not up to standard. We will have to work on that,” said Masuku, who is the team’s defence coach.
The home side defenders were caught ball watching as Rajaoniasy got to an end of a floating free kick at the back post to head past goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu.
An out of sorts Blessing Moyo, also making his debut, then conceded a needless penalty moments later which was converted by Kassah.
“There were so many positives though in terms of chances created, but worrying in the manner we missed them. We still have good chances to go through. Not a very comfortable lead but we have something to build on to in the second leg. I’m very confident we will go and get the result we want,” added the former Highlanders defender.
Chitiyo, playing his first competitive match since his switch from Dynamos, put City in front from close range. And two minutes later, they appeared in cruise control when Manuvire’s deflected shot went through the legs of AS Adema goalkeeper.
The former ZPC Kariba midfielder then thwarted Adema’s fight back with a stinging shot from outside the box with two minutes remaining in regulation time.