MASERU – CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe was satisfied with his side’s performance in the goalless draw against Lioli FC in the first leg of the African Champions League qualifier here yesterday.
The Zimbabwe champions created a number of half chances especially in the first half but could not find the back of the net.
CAPS now need to win the second leg in Harare at the National Sports Stadium next Sunday to reach the final qualifying round of the competition to play against TP Mazembe of DRC.
“I think the boys played well today. This is what we had planned to cancel out this first leg, we are now left with the second leg in Harare,” Chitembwe.
“The result; 0-0 is good and I’m happy with how the boys performed today.”
Chitembwe’s plans were interrupted just a few minutes before kick-off when midfielder Joel Ngodzo, who was in the starting line-up, was barred from playing yesterday due to irregularities with his documents.
TUSSLE: CAPS United forward Abbas Amidu, left, fights for the ball against Lioli FC defender Mafa Moremohlo during yesterday’s match at the Setsoto Stadium.
There were mistakes on the date of birth of Ngodzo and Kudzanai Nyamupfukudza’s licenses resulting in the match commissioner stopping them to take part in the game.
Nyamupfukudza was supposed to start on the bench.
Cabby Kamhapa was summoned from the bench to replace Ngodzo in the starting XI leaving United with only five substitutes.
“Sometimes it affects the rhythm of the team when you have to change the starting line up but today I’m glad with the depth we have,” Chitembwe said.
Despite the changes to personnel on the field at the last minute, United started the match brightly with Devon Chafa and Kamhapa controlling the tempo in midfield.
New signing Ronald Chitiyo was also making some inroads in the Lioli final third but Makepekepe did not trouble the home side’s goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle enough.
United’ first real chance of the match came in the 17th minute when Phineas Bamusi linked up with Abbas Amidu to release Dominic Chungwa on the right side.
Chungwa’s shot was saved for a corner by the Lioli keeper.
Moments later, the Zimbabwe champions almost conceded when Dennis Dauda gave away possession but Tumelo Makhopo failed to get to the end of a through ball from Motlalepula Mofolo.
The match was now open and in the 26th minute, Bamusi was teed up by Amidu on the edge of the box but his shot was well saved by Mokhehle.
Makepekepe’s best chance to take the lead arrived 10 minutes before the break when Amidu found himself unmarked at the back post following a cross sent in by Bamusi.
With the Lioli defence scrambling to pivot, Amidu controlled the ball first before firing a shot Kopano Tseka.
Instead of going for power, Amidu should have tried to go for curler as he had enough room at the far post.
By that time United, were all over the home side as they enjoyed most of the possession.
However, Chitembwe’s side could have gone behind just before the break when defender Justice Jangano lost the ball to Makhopo in a dangerous area.
The Lioli midfielder was one-on-one against Makepekepe goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda.
Makhopo fired in a low shot to Sibanda’s left side and the goalkeeper did well to push it for a corner.
After the break, Makepekepe almost scored from the rest restart when Amidu was released on the right side.
The midfielder’s first attempt was saved by Mokhehle and from the rebound Amidu struck the upright from a tight angle.
From there on the second period became a drab affair with Makepekepe sitting back and looking content with the draw.
The Zimbabwe champions are confident of finishing of the encounter in the second leg next Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.
Lioli FC: Liteboho Mokhehle, Mafa Moremohlo, Tsoanelo Koetle, Kopano Tseka, Motlalepula Mofolo, Shestane Ramoseka, Bokang Sello, Tumelo Makhopo, Tsepo Lekhooana (Junior Maba 77min), Bushy Moletsane (Modirwa Obakeng (90), Tsepo Seturumane
CAPS United: Edmore Sibanda, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ronald Pfumbidzayi, Dennis Dauda, Justice Jangano, Devon Chafa, Cabby Kamhapa, Ronald Chitiyo (Tafadzwa Rusike 85min), Abbas Amidu, Phenius Bamusi (Simba Nhivi 63m), Dominic Chungwa