Bantu chase CAF dream

Bantu chase CAF dream

MASERU – Bantu head coach James Madidilane (pictured below) says it would be a dream for the Econet Premier League champions to make it into the group stages of the CAF Confederations Cup.‘A Matšo Matebele’ dropped into the second tier continental competition after losing to AS Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the CAF Champions League first round last month
Bantu have since been drawn against Nigerian side Enugu Rangers with the winners set to progress for the group phase of the Confederation Cup.

The first leg of the tie is set to be played at Setsoto Stadium next weekend with the return match away at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium on January 20.
Madidilane said it is not going to be an easy tie for his charges as they are aware Enugu Rangers are a strong team that also wants to progress in the competition.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic and South Africa defender said it was not easy to prepare for Bantu’s games in the Champions League, first against Botswana’s Township Rollers and then against AS Vita.

Madidilane said it is going to be even more difficult to prepare for this tie as Bantu’s opponents are relatively unknown to them.
Enugu Rangers are also unbeaten in the Confederation Cup. They started by beating Defence Force SC of Ethiopia 5-1 on aggregate over two legs and then progressed to the next round where they met USM Bel Abbes of Algeria and won 2-0 on aggregate.

However, despite their fine form in the Confederation Cup, Enugu Rangers do not seem to be doing well in their domestic league. In the last five matches they have played they have won just once, lost twice and drawn two games. They are 10th on the log in Nigeria.
“(Enugu Rangers) is a very strong team, that is what we have realised, they are fast and their game is probably close to that of AS Vita,” Madidilane said of Enugu Rangers.

“It has been difficult for us preparing for all the games we have played in the Champions League but we will prepare ourselves for (Enugu Rangers). They are a team that wants to make it to the group stages and so do we. We are going to play to make it to the group stages, everything is possible,” he added.
However, before ‘A Matšo Matebele’ can think of Enugu Rangers, they first have to take care of Likhopo this coming weekend at Setsoto Stadium in Econet Premier League action.
The match forms a much anticipated double header and will open the proceedings for a Matlama and Lioli clash scheduled to start at 6pm.

Madidilane said he is aware Likhopo did not rest during the Christmas break and have been preparing themselves over the festive season. He said he is expecting a difficult game.
“Before the Rangers game we have Likhopo and that is the game we want to focus on for now and then we will get back to Rangers after this one,” the Bantu mentor said.
“I realised they didn’t close (for the holidays), that to me says they are looking forward to this game and we cannot afford to drop points,” Madidilane added.

“I would have liked to start training with a full squad but our foreign players are yet to arrive and I just hope by Thursday everyone will be available for the game. However, if that is not the case, we will field players we believe will do the job for us.”

Tlalane Phahla


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