Bantu in battle cry

Bantu in battle cry

MASERU – Econet Premier League champions Bantu say they are ready for battle when they host Nigerian outfit Enugu Rangers in the CAF Confederation Cup at Setsoto Stadium this Sunday.
‘A Matšo Matebele’ were drawn against the Nigeria FA Cup winners last month after dropping from the CAF Champions League knockout rounds following a defeat to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) giants AS Vita.

If Bantu overcome Enugu Rangers in the upcoming two-legged playoff tie they will advance to the Confederation Cup group stages and become the first Lesotho side to compete in the pool phase of the continental club competition.

Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, Bantu spokesperson Bokang Phasumane said the side’s technical team, headed by coach, James Madidilane, have obtained videos of Enugu Rangers’ recent matches and have been studying their opponents’ style of play, including their strengths and weaknesses.
Phasumane admitted that while it is not easy to get a complete picture of their opponents from videos, Bantu have realised the Nigerian side have tall players who could be dangerous at set-pieces.
He said a lot of Rangers’ goals came when they pushed their tall players upfront.

“We have recent videos of their recent games; we were able to see how they play and we realised they have tall guys who could be dangerous (at) set-pieces,” Phasumane said.
“Our technical team is working on minimising the mistakes that could lead to free-kicks outside the box because that will be an advantage to (Enugu Rangers). Some of their goals come from set-pieces; they use their height really well.”

Phasumane added that Bantu will be looking to take advantage of their opponents’ domestic struggles. Enugu Rangers are 10th in the 20-team Nigerian top-flight league and have won just once in their last five league games.

“What we know about them is that they have not been doing well in their domestic league but besides that we really do not have anything on them,” he said.
Of course, Bantu are just as much a closed book to Enugu Rangers and, on Sunday, A Matšo Matebele will have the advantage of playing at Setsoto Stadium where they have already created fond memories for their supporters.

In early December, the Mafeteng giants outlasted Botswana champions Township Rollers in a thrilling penalty shootout and later gave AS Vita, finalists in the 2018 Confederation Cup, all they could handle in a 1-1 draw even if it wasn’t enough to seal progression to the next stage.
Bantu’s plan for Enugu Rangers is the same: attack.

“We have to do our job and that is to attack them and score goals, we have been working on our finishing,” Phasumane said.
“We have to attack them,” he added. “We are playing at home and that is an opportunity we have to take because we have the home support and the support of everyone in Lesotho, we know the nation is behind us.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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