CAPS enter lion's den

HARARE - CAPS United captain Moses Muchenje is hoping his return into the team will be a good luck charm for Makepekepe as they take on African powerhouses TP Mazembe this afternoon.

The Green Machine flew out of Harare this morning en route to Lubumbashi ahead of this afternoon’s 3:30pm kick-off at the Stade TP Mazembe.

Muchenje did not play in the preliminary round last month when Makepekepe dispatched Lesotho champions Lioli FC.

The midfielder was in the squad for the first leg in Maseru but had to spend the entire 90 minutes on the bench as it finished goalless.

Muchenje was not in the squad for the second leg at the National Sports Stadium when United had to come from a goal down to win 2-1 courtesy of second half goals from Simba Nhivi and Ronald Chitiyo.

“It feels great to be back in the team considering that we are going to be playing one of the biggest teams in Africa,” Muchenje told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Rubbing shoulders with some of the best players in Africa is always a great feeling but we are not going to give them too much respect.

“We just have to do our job as CAPS United and return to Zimbabwe with a good result that gives us a chance to qualify for the group stages.”

Mazembe, with five African titles to their name and backed by the millions of their wealthy president Moise Katumbi, are one of the biggest teams on the continent.

Over the years, they have also earned a reputation of getting favours from match officials especially when they are playing at home.

In 2013, Orlando Pirates endured a torrid time at the Stade TP Mazembe where they were subjugated by all kinds of dubious officiating before losing 1-0.

The referee dismissed the Sea Robbers captain Lucky Legkwathi in suspicious circumstances in the first half before going on to award Mazembe two controversial penalties which were all saved by the late Senzo Meyiwa in the second half.

Pirates progressed to the group stages of the competition after winning 3-2 on aggregate which should give Makepekepe inspiration that Mazembe can be thwarted despite their vast resources and influence.        

“It’s not going to be an easy game but all I can say is that I’m ready for the challenge. When it comes to the referees it’s obviously going to be tough,” Muchenje said.

“TP Mazembe are giants in African football and it’s normal for all the referee’s close calls to go in favour of the big teams.

“Throughout our preparations we have been working hard to keeping it simple so that we minimise mistakes.

“Some of the hustles and tricks from the home side and the match officials we will see them when the time comes but mentally we are prepared for anything they might try to employ against us.”

Makepekepe have never reached the group stages of the African Champions League but Muchenje believes this year they might break the jinx.

“It all comes down to hard work and determination if we want to qualify for the group stages. The preparations have been good and the players have been showing desire and commitment to make it happen,” Muchenje said.           

Comments (3)

Go Kepekepe Go ! A win is all we need today ! We are rallying behind you guys .

dhewa moyondizvo - 12 March 2017

Go Kepekepe Go ! A win is all we need today ! We are rallying behind you guys .

dhewa moyondizvo - 12 March 2017

Where is our sports news today 13-03-2017

Dmen - 13 March 2017

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