Zimbabwe’s Caf Confederation Cup representatives Harare City are determined to progress from their preliminary round encounter against Madagascan side AS Adema ahead of their first leg tie at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
BY HENRY MHARA
The home side will be looking to gain a good advantage ahead of the return leg in Antananarivo in a fortnight.
While the Taurai Mangwiro-coached side will be making a bow in the continental club competitions, their opponents have been there before, with their last appearance coming in 2013 when they played in the Caf Champions League, but did not go beyond the first hurdle. Mangwiro admits he has had little information about his opponents to work with, but is confident that his side has enough quality to win and qualify.
“We have done some research about them but we have found very little information, but I’m comfortable that way,” Mangwiro said yesterday. “I just want to concentrate more on what my boys can do and not to read much into what they can do. Preparations are going on well, and we will have two more sessions after today’s, so I think we will be more than ready come Saturday.”
He added: “We are playing at home and we are expected to win, but the most important thing for us will be to keep a clean sheet. I have capable players at the other end so I know we will create opportunities to score goals. We conceded goals in our friendly matches against the Warriors, Mutare and Chapungu which is a worrying thing, but that is one area we have been working on and I’m just hoping we will not concede a goal at home.”
But the significance of a victory for Harare City tomorrow, according to Mangwiro, goes beyond qualification to the next stage of the competition.
“We are representing the nation and we have to make the people proud. After what happened to the Warriors at the Chan when they failed to make it to the next stage, I think it is our duty, together with Chicken Inn who are playing in the Champions League, to put smiles back on the people’s faces by winning our matches. I’m wishing them [Chicken Inn] well,” said Mangwiro.
The bad news in the City camp ahead of the match is about Jimmy Tigere, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a foot injury.
In a bid to entice supporters to go and watch the match, the club has pegged the cheapest ticket at $1.
AS Adema, who played two preparatory matches against league champions Cnaps Sport on Monday and Wednesday, are expected in the country today aboard a chartered flight.