Caps United buoyant, hopeful to recover

Caps United coach Lloyd Chitembwe believes his team can recover from their Caf Champions League football loss to Libya’s Al Ahly Tripoli a fortnight ago and collect maximum points when the two sides meet again for the return leg in Tunisia tomorrow night.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA IN TUNISIA

Ronald Chitiyo

Ronald Chitiyo

A win here will see Chitembwe’s men moving to second in Group B and have a good chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the competition, having their hopes dented a little bit following a 4-2 loss to the Libyans at home.

And after arriving in Tunis yesterday, Chitembwe immediately declared that his side was here to collect all the three points.

The match is being played in Tunisia because of political turmoil in Libya.

“We know what we have set ourselves to achieve and everyone is prepared. The players have enough time to rest and prepare. The conditions are the same as those in Egypt. The game will be played during the night and it will be a little bit cold and it’s conducive for us,” Chitembwe said.

The Green Machine arrived in the North African country yesterday afternoon after a long journey that took them through Johannesburg, South Africa, and Cairo, Egypt, before connecting to Tunis.

They then embarked on a punishing 200km road trip to the match venue in Sfax.

Neverthless, Chitembwe insists the players’ condition is fine and they will have recovered by the time the match starts.

Caps United had the misfortune of missing several key players through injuries when they faced Tripoli in the first leg.

Chitembwe said it affected their game plan and was hopeful the return to full fitness of those who missed the match would give him options.

“Remember in the first leg, we missed several players through injury and some of them are here and we are looking forward to the match,” he said.

Some of the players that missed the match, but are back and available for selection, include goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, and defenders Dennis Dauda and Ronald Pfumbidzai.

However, Tafadzwa “Fire” Rusike, veteran striker Leonard Tsipa and second-choice goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo did not make the trip after failing to pass late fitness tests.

Chitembwe is likely to start the match with Sibanda, with Dauda and Justice Jangano set to partner at the heart of the defence, while Pfumbidzai and Zvirekwi will operate as wing backs.

In midfield, Devon Chafa is likely to partner either Joel Ngodzo or Moses Muchenje, with Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo and Phineas Bhamusi set to operate as left and right wingers, while Abbas Amidu and Dominic Chungwa are to be deployed as twin strikers.

Egyptian giants Zamalek top Group B with five points from three matches with USM Alger of Algeria and Al Ahly Tripoli on four points each, while Caps United are at the foot of the table with three points.

The top two teams in each group go through to the quarter-finals.