Ngezi out to overturn deficit

NGEZI Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya has revealed his charges are ready to overturn the deficit and progress to the final round when they face Angolan side CRD Libolo in the first round second leg tie at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.

The platinum miners are coming into this game on the back foot after suffering a 2-1 first leg defeat last weekend after Brazilian striker Fabricio’s got a brace for CRD Libolo while Liberty Chakoroma scored what could be an important away goal for Ndiraya’s charges.

And ahead of what is undoubtedly the biggest match in his coaching career, Ndiraya remarked that his side is fit and raring to go and that the tie is far from over.

Ngezi Platinum Stars need at least one unanswered goal to ensure they keep their dream of making it to the group stages alive.

“Even if we needed to win by four or five goals we are optimistic that we will win tomorrow,” Ndiraya told the Weekend Post.

“We have our own special strategy to ensure we beat them because if we don’t have hope then we shouldn’t continue to play football.

“We have to go into this match and attack but we will not forget our defensive tactics as it is essential in a game against such dangerous opponents who can score from half a chance.

Ngezi had very little knowledge against their opponents in the first leg and Ndiraya is convinced that the match in Harare will be very different as they are now more aware of their opponents.

“We now have an idea of how our opponents play. We will take the lessons from the first leg, work together and sharpen the rough edges so that we push hard in order to reach the next round,” added Ndiraya.
The game was, however, marred by poor officiating by Zambian referee Wellington Kaoma, who hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons after he disallowed a legitimate Terrence Dzvukamanja’s goal late in the game.

Apart from poor officiating, the Ngezi delegation also received a hostile reception from their hosts who used every opportunity to frustrate them.

The platinum miners had travelled early to Angola hoping to have enough time to acclimatise but it all counted for nothing.

Madamburo arrived in the Angolan capital, Luanda, on Thursday evening and were supposed to have connected to Kwanza-Sul about 250km away from Luanda, where the game was played the following morning.
However, the team only arrived in Kwanza-Sul in two batches around 5pm after spending more than six hours at the airport where they had been dumped by Angolan football officials.

The platinum miners are expecting striker Kelvin Bulaji to be available tomorrow after missing the first leg through injury.
Meanwhile, CRD Libolo of Angola arrived in the country yesterday ahead of the showdown which kicks off at 2pm.
On Sunday, Zimbabwe champions CAPS United will be hoping to send shock waves across the continent by dumping TP Mazembe out of the African Champions League.

The first leg finished 1-1 a week ago in Lubumbashi with Abbas Amidu netting the crucial away goal for Makepekepe while Rainford Kalaba equalised for Mazembe.

If CAPS get past the DR Congo champions, then they will make history by qualifying for the group stages of the competition for the first time.

However, TP Mazembe coach Thierry Froger warned Makepekepe that his side will be coming to Harare to win the second leg.

“When the team has a bad result, it’s everyone’s responsibility. Obviously, I have my share of responsibility. We have no choice in Harare, we have to win,” the Frenchman said on the Mazembe website.

“We must focus our preparation on the desire to raise our level of play. Even if we lost players, even if we made a preparation too short, we must redouble our efforts to present ourselves for the return game with a lot of ambition.

“The players who will appear on the field in Harare must prove that they have the level to play for TP Mazembe, it was not the case for all last Sunday.

“In Lubumbashi, it was believed that it would be easy simply by appearing with our fans to make a difference.
“It does not exist anymore, in the world, and Barcelona-PSG is an illustration of what can happen in football. In Harare, the solution to reach the group stages will be first of all to have the will to score.” —Godknows Matarutse

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