16 April 2018 06:45
Supersport United interim coach, Keitano Tembo, says bowing out of the competition at this stage is certainly not an option for his Supersport United side who were runners-up last season.
The club from the South African capital has had a dismal season for their lofty standards with relegation from the top flight staring in their face.
Successive barren draws against Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City in the domestic Premier Soccer League, will give the Zimbabwe-born trainer a cause to worry as they welcome Kenya’s Gor Mahia on Wednesday in the return leg. The visitors carry a lone goal advantage coming into the clash to be played at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.
Speaking at the club’s training session on Monday afternoon, Tembo, who deputized for former both Stuart Baxter and Eric Tinkler, admits a difficult task against the Kenyans, eyeing a first ever appearance at the lucrative mini-league stage.
Tembo rested some key players in the first leg in Machakos a fortnight ago, but adds that he would field his strongest squad to ensure that they stand a good chance of qualifying for the group phase of the competition.
“When we played them away, we sent a relatively young team. We gave players like Luke Le Roux, Jamie Webber, Sipho Mbule and had Thuso Phala upfront and I believe we played well until they scored that late penalty. We cannot dwell on the past now because it’s is the nature of playing away, we need to soldier on and fully focus on Wednesday’s match,” Tembo said.
The Supersport mentor also highlighted the importance of using home matches to one’s advantage in such competitions saying that it would allow them to play their normal game with the backing of the supporters.
“Such tournaments require you to be clinical at home because it is difficult getting a result away. If you don’t win your home games then you can simply forget because when you are away, you need to somehow manage the game and be extra careful which doesn’t allow you to play your normal game.
“They have the advantage at the moment and they will most likely sit back and want to catch us on the break. We need to try and break them while at the same time ensure that we don’t give away anything,” Tembo concluded.
Matsantsansta have been a without a win on the domestic front since a 4-2 win over Bloemfontein Celtic last February. However, they beat Angolan side Petro de Luanda 2-1 on aggregate at the previous round.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
CS la Mancha (Congo) vs AS Vita (DR Congo) (0-1)
USM Alger (Algeria) vs Plateau United (Nigeria) (1-2)
El Masry (Egypt) vs Mounana (Gabon) (1-1)
CR Belouizdad (Algeria) vs ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) (0-1)
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Raja Club Athletic (Morocco) vs Zanaco (Zambia) (2-0)
CARA (Congo) vs Saint George (Ethiopia) (0-1)
Akwa United (Nigeria) vs El Hilal (Sudan) (0-2)
Supersport (South Africa) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya) (0—1)
Hilal Obied (Sudan) vs UD Songo (Mozambique) (1-3)
Enyimba (Nigeria) vs Bidvest (South Africa) (1-1)
Fosa Juniors (Madagascar) vs Aduana (Ghana) (1-6)
Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia) vs Young Africans (Tanzania) (0-2)
RS Berkane (Morocco) vs Generation Foot (Senegal) (1-3)
Niefang (Equatorial Guinea) vs Williamsville (0-2)
Djoliba (Mali) vs MFM (Nigeria) (1-0)
Costa do Sol (Mozambique) vs Rayon Sports (Rwanda0 (0-3)