Caps, Ngezi Bouyant Ahead Of Weekend's Continental Fixtures
By Don Makanyanga
Harare. March 08, 2017 – ZIMBABWE’S continental football representatives, Ngezi Platinum and Caps United have put up a strong face ahead of their first round qualifiers this weekend despite admitting they faced uphill tasks against their opponents.
Caps United are the country’s representatives in the prestigious Champions League competition and will face African football powerhouse TP Mazembe of DRC while Ngezi Platinum are playing in the Confederations Cup against Recreativo do Libolo of Angola.
The two matches are scheduled for the weekend of 11-12 March.
Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe and Ngezi Platinum gaffer Tonderai Ndiraya, speaking during a live ZBC-TV interview Monday night, said they were ready to take Africa head-on as they seek to write their own pieces of history.
Ndiraya admits his charges have a mountain to climb but remained confident the platinum miners could cause an upset in their maiden international football participation.
“We are not moved by the history that they have but it’s up to us to have a winning mindset when we approach this game and that is one thing which has been working on since our last match,” he said.
Madamburo, as they are popularly known, face the Angolan side which has won four titles in their domestic league in the past six years while their Zimbabwean opponents are only in their inaugural African Safari, having only been promoted into the country’s top flight league in 2016.
But Ndiraya says he is not intimidated by their opponents’ impressive CV.
“We have done some research on them and we are aware that they have won four championships in the last years six years and it’s not going to be an easy match but it is a game that we want to play to win and definitely we will come with a result,” said the former Dynamos player.
The defiant mood is also being displayed within the Green Machine camp which finds itself in a David versus Goliath moment against a side that has won the prestigious African Champions League a record five times.
Chitembwe said his technical department had done its homework on last year’s African Confederations Cup winners and was confident that the 2016 Zimbabwean champions will get a positive result in Lubumbashi.
“The advantage we have over them is that we know more of them than they do on us and definitely that is a plus for us and we are looking for a favourable result going into the return leg,” said Chitembwe.
Caps United and Ngezi Platinum both progressed to the first round matches with narrow 2-1 aggregate wins, with the former edging past Lioli F.C of Lesotho while the platinum miners beat Pamplenousses of Mauritius.