Bantu to face Mbabane Swallows

Bantu to face Mbabane Swallows

MASERU –Lesotho champions Bantu have been drawn against their Swaziland counterparts Mbabane Swallows in the 2018 CAF Champions League preliminary round. The draw was made yesterday and will see ‘A Matšo Matebele’ host the first leg before visiting the Swaziland champions for the return fixture.

The continental showpiece is scheduled to begin in February and, having avoided a lengthy trip into Africa or a regional powerhouse, the draw represents an opportunity for Bantu to become the first Lesotho team to win a Champions League tie in 15 years.
No local club has progressed past the preliminary round since 2002 when Lesotho Defence Force beat Botswana’s Mogoditshane Fighters 1-0 on aggregate to reach the first round.

Earlier this year, Lioli were knocked out at the first hurdle after a 2-1 aggregate loss to Zimbabwean outfit CAPS United.
Bantu coach James Madidilane welcomed his side’s draw.
“Now that we know our opponent we will be watching them closely and trying to find anything worth knowing about them,” the South African coach said.

“I have seen (Mbabane Swallows) before when they were playing against (South Africa’s) Platinum Stars,” Madidilane said.
“But I was just watching the match; I was not studying or learning their weaknesses, strengths or anything, so basically we don’t know anything about them. But it is good that we now know who we are going to face so we can watch them.”

The tie against Mbabane Swallows will be Bantu’s second sojourn into Africa in the club’s history.
The Mafeteng giants were beaten 1-0 by Gabon’s AS Mangasport in 2015 in their continental debut. Should ‘A Matšo Matebele’ navigate their way past Mbabane Swallows they will face Zambia’s Zanaco or Gambia Armed Forces in the first round.

Lesotho in the CAF Champions League since 2000 (aggregate results):
2017: CAPS United (Zimbabwe) 2-1 Lioli
2016: Vital’O (Burundi) 2-2 Lioli (Vital’O won on away goals)
2015: AS Mangasport (Gabon) 1-0 Bantu
2014: Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) 3-2 Lioli
2013: Dynamos (Zimbabwe) 3-1 LCS
2012: URA (Uganda) 3-0 LCS
2011: SuperSport United (South Africa) 3-2 Matlama
2010: Did not take part
2009: Did not take part
2008: Platinum Stars (South Africa) 4-1 LCS
2007: Likhopo 0-1 Zanaco (Zambia)
2006: Likhopo 0-4 Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
2005: CAPS United (Zimbabwe) 8-4 LDF
2004: Matlama 0-7 Orlando Pirates (South Africa)
2003: Did not take part
2002: (Preliminary round) Mogoditshane Fighters (Botswana) 1-2 LDF
(First round) TP Mazembe (DR Congo) 3-1 LDF
2001: Did not take part
2000: (Preliminary round) AS Fortior (Madagascar) 0-0 LDF (LDF won penalties)
(First round) Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) 6-2 LDF

Luciah Phahla

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