Nkana in Bantu tussle
Nkana’s opponent in the CAF Champions League Preliminary round, Bantu Football Club will be playing off their tough matches which could be their match of the season if they can overturn the result with a comfortable.
The Kitwe based side is going into the match with an upper hand following their 1-nil win over Bantu in Maseru, Lesotho last weekend courtesy of a 14th minute Idris Mbombo goal.
However, Bantu FC coach Bob Mafoso is not giving up hope of upsetting the home team in the second leg. Mafoso is confident his charges are ready for the match and feels they could have done better in the first leg.
“We have the confidence because we did well enough to have won the game within the first leg, yes, of course, they went to Lesotho to get a draw. We feel they got lucky and got the goal but of course, they deserved it as they defended well after scoring,” Mafoso said.
The Bantu gaffer said his side will need to play as a team to beat Nkana who are still unbeaten in CAF Interclub games. Mafoso said in today’s encounter, Nkana will not be defending deep like they did in Maseru and his side will be banking on the Kitwe side playing an open game.
“They scored us immediately after losing possession and there were a lot of errors that happened, so we feel we are ready. We feel they are under pressure to play today, they won’t be sitting back today because of the home crowd and we are banking on that, we feel it will be an open game this time around,” Mafoso said.
“We need to play like a team that is looking to reduce the deficit.”
On the unbeaten record, Mafoso feels Nkana is beatable at home and his side will go out to play their best game.
“There is always a first time for everything, we know that they lost their first league game at home when they lost 2-0, they are beatable at home. It won’t easy they were not a walkover in Maseru, they won’t be a walkover but we know it is going to be an open game.”
Mafoso said he is aware of Nkana’s tactical discipline and described Nkana as a good side with good qualities.
“They are a disciplined team tactically; they managed to stay within their tactics the entire 90 minutes. They have good technical players, they have big defenders and they have a big striker that they always play on,” he said.
“They are a quality side but we know you can’t win the league here in Zambia if you are not a quality side because it is a very competitive league.”
Bantu are facing a tough task at hand in this afternoon’s match against Nkana is aware of the key players in the Aba Red squad such as Idris Mbombo, Mischeck Chaila among others that made it difficult for his side to play in the first leg.
Meanwhile, Nkana coach Manfred Chabinga has urged his side to not underrate their opponents as they come face to face this afternoon at Nkana Stadium.
Chabinga said he is expecting a tough encounter in today’s second leg match in Kitwe.
“We are expecting a tough match and we should not underrate Bantu, they are a good side,” Chabinga said.
The Nkana gaffer said the team has prepared well to make sure they qualify for the next stage.
Nkana will progress to the next round with a win or draw. The winner between Nkana and Bantu will face either Akonangui (Equatorial Guinea) or Athletico Petroleos in the first round of the CAF Champions League qualifiers.
Kickoff will be at 15:00Hrs at Nkana Stadium.
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