TP MAZEMBE coach Thierry Froger has admitted that his team faces an uphill task to qualify for the group stage of the Caf Champions League when they face Caps United in the second leg of the first round of the competition at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
BY Kevin Mapasure
The Frenchman, who is guiding the Lubumbashi-based side in the competition for the first time having taken over the coaching reins last month, is under pressure to guide the five-time champions into the next stage after they were held by Caps United to a 1-all draw in their own backyard last Sunday.
The TP Mazembe delegation arrived in Harare yesterday afternoon aboard their private plane, accompanied by a colourful band of supporters, most of the predicting a 3-0 win for their team.
Froger said that while he expects a tough match he remains confident that his side will get the result they need to progress.
“The match will be difficult, but we are here to qualify,” Froger said.
“We have to play better than we did in the first match, but it will be difficult because Caps United will be more determined and motivated. We are here to try and qualify so we have to play well.”
TP Mazembe can qualify with a 2-all draw or an outright win.
A nil-all draw will usher Caps United into the lucrative group stage.
Caps United are also expecting TP Mazembe to come hard on them and coach Lloyd Chitembwe said that he has prepared his side for such confrontation.
The Green Machine are brimming with confidence having achieved half the job by avoiding defeat in the first leg as well as getting an important away goal.
Chitembwe knows that if his side is to concede that could complicate things and will try to instil defensive discipline.
The Zimbabwean champions welcome back left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai, who missed the first leg through injury, but they will be without attacker Ronald Chitiyo who accumulated two yellow cards and is suspended for this match.
The match has drawn a lot of interest among football fans and is promising to be an explosive affair as the two teams seek passage to the next round.
The team that qualifies to the group stage is guaranteed at least $500 000.