Chitiyo rallies CAPS Utd

CAPS United new boy Ronald Chitiyo is expecting a tough match when the Green Machine clash against Lioli FC of Lesotho in the Caf African Champions League first round first leg at Setsoto Stadium tomorrow.

The Zimbabwean champions were scheduled to leave the country this morning for Maseru to face Tse Nale with the second leg scheduled for the National Sports Stadium in Harare next weekend.

Chitiyo, who joined Makepekepe following the expiry of his contract with Harare City at the end of last season, said there are usually no easy fixtures in Africa.

“We are expecting a very tough game. They are the champions of Lesotho and we are also champions here so it’s going to be really difficult for us,” Chitiyo told the Weekend Post.

“From my experience of playing in Africa, there are no small teams and we should not underrate our opponents. We need to adopt the right attitude to ensure we come up with a positive result.”

This will be the Green Machine’s first competitive match since they clinched the Zimbabwe championship in November 2016.

With the Zimbabwe top flight league in off season, United have had to prepare for this important encounter using international warm-up matches.

The Green Machine beat Mozambique champions Ferroviario da Beira 2-0 at the National Sports Stadium last month before travelling to Lusaka, Zambia to intensify their preparations.

In Lusaka, Lloyd Chitembwe’s side lost 2-0 to Red Arrows before ending their tour with a 2-1 victory over Zambian champions Zanaco.

On the other hand, Lioli have already passed the midway stage of the Lesotho 2016-17 season with Tse Nale currently sitting in second place on the log just a single point behind leaders Bantu after 16 round of matches.

Last weekend, Lioli warmed up to their match against CAPS with a 3-0 victory over Likhopo in the first leg of the LNIG Top 8 quarter-final.

Chitiyo is however, counting on their preparations against some of the teams that will also be doing duty in Africa to overcome Lioli.

“We have had good preparations and we learnt a lot,” he said.

“The international friendly matches have helped us prepare and I think we are now in good shape to start our campaign.”
Makepekepe captain Moses Muchenje concurred with Chitiyo saying they should not take Lioli lightly.

“These games are very tricky. . . I know Lioli are a good team, they knocked out Bidvest Wits out of the same competition a few years back,” Muchenje said.

“I’m however, positive that we are going to get a positive result.”

The Makepekepe skipper said they are physically prepared to take on the Lesotho champions despite having last played a competitive match in November last year.

“In terms of fitness, I think it will be an advantage on their side but on our part we worked hard in enough during pre-season,” Muchenje said.

“We also went to Zambia to intensify our preparations and I think it really helped.

“On Saturday, we are going to implement all the things that we learned during our preparations in the pre-season.     
Should CAPS United get past Lioli, they will secure a final qualifying round clash against five-time African champions TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo. —Godknows Matarutse

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