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Bantu ready for Nkana

Chris Theko

Reigning premier league champions Bantu is ready to do battle when they face visitors Nkana Red Devils of Zambia in the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions’ league preliminary round first leg clash to be played at Setsoto stadium on Sunday. 

In an interview with Newsday Sport, Bantu head coach Bob Mafoso said the team is ready to beat their rivals convincingly and make things easier for themselves in order to make the return leg in Zambia a mere formality. 

“It is an advantage for us to play such an unknown team at home in the first leg, this will allow us to go all out and try to win the fixture and we go to Zambia to contain them,” Mafoso said. 

The return leg will be played away in Lusaka, Zambia on December 5, 2020.  The coach said the fact that they are playing the first leg at home will definitely work in their favour. 

Meanwhile the Mafeteng side’s mentor pointed out that although Nkana started preparations two months ago since their domestic league is already up and running, Nkana have not been doing well having played four league matches and winning none while sitting on 10th position, his side will not take them for granted. 

“We have done our homework since the draw was conducted. They were unknown to us then but now we have a slight idea of what they are capable of, we got their video clips and familiarised ourselves with them,” he explained.

He cited that his team has been together for just a little over a month and they have lost a number of key players due to injury and some to the South African Dstv premiership league side but they still have a solid squad as they swiftly went out to find replacements.

Last month Bokang Sello and Tsietsi Khooa both joined the Eastern Cape Province side, Chippa United, now coached by former Likuena international Lehlohonolo Seema. The team replaced them with Johannes Molapo from Kick4Life and Lebohang Sheleng from Lioli. 

“We have lost two leaders at the same time and it is not going to be easy because they were both very important in terms of the roles they were playing in the team,” said Mafoso. 

Bantu has also bolstered their squad with the former U.S based Tšotleho Jane as well as Setho Moshoeshoe from Lesotho Correctional Services.

Meanwhile, the Mafeteng based side will have a tough task facing the Zambian Champions without their two captains Thapelo Mokhehle and Lindokuhle Phungulwa who have been ruled out for the entire 2020/21 season because of injuries. 

The team released a statement announcing that both players will be out for a very lengthy period after a thorough doctor’s assessments. 

Mafoso indicated that their loss will be felt not only for the Sunday game but the whole of upcoming season as they were always encouraging other players.

“One would think the two were already not that involved in the pitch but we could always count on them when things got tough, Mokhehle with his experience and Lindo is a motivation to other players even though he was not playing,” he said.

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