CAPS remain hopeful

MASERU - After playing out a goalless draw here against Lioli FC on Saturday, CAPS United are fully aware they are playing with a double-edged sword in this African Champions League tie.

With the away goals rule in play, United must avoid Tse Nale from scoring in Harare during the second leg at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday as the tie is still evenly balanced.

Makepekepe will be knocked out of the competition if the Lesotho champions can hold out for any scoring draw in the second leg.

In order to proceed to the final qualifying where they will play five-time African champions TP Mazembe, the Green Machine now needs an outright win this Sunday.

Another goalless draw will take the tie into a penalty shoot-out straight after 90 minutes.

The failure to score an away goal at the Setsoto Stadium here now haunts United as they hope to shut out Tse Nale by all costs this coming weekend.

Makepekepe captain Moses Muchenje said: “Considering the second leg is a new game, if Lioli can get the away goal in Harare, it will become difficult for us.

“If they score in Harare, we will now need an outright win at all costs and this is the danger of failing to score in the first leg away from home.

“If we had got an away goal, life would have been much easier for us in the second leg but I’m sure we will win at home.”

The Zimbabwean champions do, however, have some mitigating factors in their failure to beat Tse Nale or at least get an away goal.

After arriving on Friday afternoon, United could not train at the match venue as it was raining heavily in the Lesotho capital.

Coach Llyod Chitembwe’s game plan was disrupted even before kick-off when the match commissioner dropped a bombshell by stopping Joel Ngodzo and Kudzanai Nyamupfukudza from taking part in the match.

There were discrepancies on the dates of birth of both players on their passports and that on their licences issued by the Confederation of African Football.

Ngodzo was in the starting line-up and was replaced by Cabby Kamhapa while Nyamupfukudza was supposed to be on the bench. In the end, Makepekepe had to start without one of their more creative midfielders and with only five substitutes.

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.

Makepekepe were the better team on Saturday especially in the first half when they made numerous raids on the Lioli goal.

Dominic Chungwa, who was playing as the lone striker, forced Tse Nale goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhehle to make a number of decent saves in the opening 45 minutes.

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