CAPS United will be out to launch an attack of high intensity in a bid to suffocate visiting Lioli of Lesotho in the second leg of their Caf Champions League preliminary round football clash at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, as Lloyd Chitembwe’s side set sights on the next stage of the competition.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Green Machine fired blanks in a 0-0 draw against the minnows in the first leg last Saturday, with their conservative approach drawing criticism from some quarters.
However, Chitembwe has defended his tactics, and promised a more ambitious approach at home.
“When you travel away, especially in Africa, it’s not easy to go out there and get a result. But we expect to win at home. We went there to make sure we cancel them out and then finish the job at home. That’s how we planned this game,” he said at a Press conference in Harare yesterday.
“The way coaches plan is different from how supporters and other people plan. Things are not as easy in Africa as people think. You just have to come up with the right game plan, and that’s making sure that when you are away, it’s not much about getting a victory, but being conservative, and not trying to give away much. We expect them (Lioli) to be conservative and that’s when we will try to be expressive and be offensive as best as we can.”
Chitembwe gave the reasons why his team played below the expected tempo, consequently failing to break the well-organised Lioli defence.
“They were a lot of things that were working against us. Our season hasn’t started and that’s a factor that can contribute to how efficient a team can perform. For the boys to get that result, I thought it was brilliant and you cannot fault them for the effort and the desire to want to do well. We now know them and we have a plan to play the way we want to play. What’s more important is the desire in the group to want to progress. I’m happy with the way things have shaped up and we can’t wait to see how things will unfold on Sunday.”
The former midfielder said preparations for the match have gone according to plan and the focus is to try and beat the opposition in normal time.
Caps United can only progress to the first round, where Democratic Republic of Congo champions TP Mazembe lie in wait, with a win, while a repeat of last weekend’s result will force the match into a penalty shootout. A scoring draw will only benefit the away team.
“We are working on things we believe will give us an advantage going into the match, things that we certainly believe if we execute well, we should get the result that we so much expect and desire.”
Chitembwe also gave the injury update in his camp, and it was all good news, as he announced the return to full fitness of defender Ronald Pfumbidzai and midfielder, Phineas Bhamusi, who both limped off the pitch in Maseru.
Joel Ngodzo and Kudzai Nyamupfukudza, who were withdrawn at the last minute due to improper registration, are also available after the issue was rectified early this week.
Caps United chief executive officer, Cuthbert Chitima also announced the gate charges for the match, pegged at $3 for the cheapest ticket, $5 for the VIP section and $10 for the VVIP.