It's advantage How Mine!

BULAWAYO - How Mine head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube says his team will not let down their guard when they travel to Seychelles for the second leg of their African Confederation Cup tie against St Michel next weekend.

The gold miners took a big step towards the final qualifying round of the competition after a 5-1 drubbing of the islanders in the first leg of the first round at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday, but Ncube believes the match is far from over.

“Football is a crazy game and they (St Michel) can still recover when we play them in their own backyard so we should not relax,” Ncube said.

“Intead we should work even harder in preparation for the second leg. We are not safe and therefore we should not rest on our laurels because as far as I am concerned this was just the first half of the game.”

How Mine overcame a sloppy start in the first half and turned on the power in the second half to romp to a big win with their chief striker Kuda Musharu taking his goal tally in this year’s tournament to five after grabbing a brace while their other goals came from Thembani Masuku, Mernard Mupera and Morris Kadzola.

And just like in the preliminary round first leg encounter against FC Chuoni of Zanzibar, the turnaround in Chikurupati’s fortunes came about after their technical team made some astute tactical changes.

Dribbling wizard Timothy January and Morris Kadzola’s introduction for James Chitereki and Terrency Majo early in the second half completely changed the complexion of the game as the duo injected some much needed impetus to the home team’s play.

Ncube attributed his team’s ability to recover from their poor start to patience and experience.

“In football you have to be patient and today being patient paid dividends for us and our experienced players also came through for us,” Ncube said.

St Michel head coach Ralph Jean-Louis maintained a brave façade in the face of defeat and expressed optimism that his charges will turn the tables on How Mine in Seychelles.

“We lost the game in the second half when we were tired and lost a bit of concentration but we are not going to give up and will work on our weaknesses when we get back home.

“It’s a bit difficult having to come back from 5-1 but in football anything can happen and at home we will be playing on artificial turf so we will see how they (How Mine) will adapt,” Jean - Louis said.

How Mine will meet the winner between AS Kondzo of Congo Brazzaville and Bayelsa United from Nigeria in the second qualifying round if they manage to avoid a shock defeat in the Seychelles.

The two teams played a goalless draw in their first leg encounter in Congo.

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