HARARE – CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe said his side will be banking on home advantage when his charges take to the field to face visiting Lesotho side Lioli FC in their African Champions League preliminary round second leg clash this weekend.
The Green Machine host the Lesotho champions on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) with only a win guaranteeing them passage to the final qualifying round of the competition.
The two sides played out to a 0-0 draw in the first leg at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru last weekend.
However, Makepekepe will be hoping their solid record at the NSS, were they never lost a league match in 2016, will remain intact.
“Nothing really went wrong in Maseru in as far as I’m concerned. I thought the boys executed the game plan exceptionally well, we did what we were supposed to do which is to go there and compete and got a result that we got,” Chitembwe said yesterday.
“We knew it was going to be very difficult in Maseru. If you travel away in Africa, it’s not easy to go out there and get a result but you are expected to win at home.
“We went there to make sure we cancelled them out in that particular game and now expect to do the job at home.”
With the Zimbabwe top flight league on off-season, Chitembwe felt it contributed negatively to his team’s performance in the first leg and matters were also made worse by the heavy rains that pounded Maseru, forcing Makepekepe to abandon their training session at the match venue ahead of the encounter.
“There were a lot of things that went against us when we went to Lesotho; for instance our season hasn’t kicked off yet and it contributed how efficient a team can perform. We also couldn’t have an opportunity to train when we arrived there,” Chitembwe said.
“So I think the boys gave us a good show and you can’t fault them for anything. Now we are at home and we have a plan to the way we want to play and what’s important is the desire within the players to want to progress to the next round.”
Chitembwe said they have since prepared well for the return leg and everyone is looking forward to the game.
“Our preparations have gone absolutely well and the focus is to try and win the match. We have been working on things that we believe will give us an advantage, things that we believe if we execute those aspects will get the result that we desire,” he added.
Chitembwe has a clean bill of health in the squad while expressing his delight of the availability of midfielder Josta Ngodzo and defender Kudzai Nyamupfukudza, who were forced to watch the first leg from the sidelines following discrepancies with their documents.
Ngodzo was in the starting line-up and had to be replaced by Cabby Kamhapa while Nyamupfukudza was supposed to start from the bench.
However, to his credit, Kamhapa never put a foot wrong as he joined Devon Chafa in central midfield where they controlled the tempo of the game.