CAPS go for broke against USMA

HARARE - CAPS United need an outright win against USM Alger (USMA) this afternoon to keep their African Champions League dream alive according to coach Lloyd Chitembwe.

The Green Machine host the Algerian side at the National Sports Stadium fully aware of the consequences of another loss having lost to Egyptian giants Zamalek in their Group B opening match two weeks ago.

USMA head into this afternoon’s game high on confidence as they sit top of Group B following their 3-0 win over Al-Ahli Tripoli of Libya in their first match.

Chitembwe knows that if United fail to win today’s game they will face a tall order to reach the knock-out stages of the competition. 

“Certainly, it’s one of the most important games for us as a club,” Chitembwe said.

“I think it’s one of the biggest matches for this football club so we are looking forward to it, we know it’s never going to be easy because we are playing one of the most difficult opponents in this competition.

“We will try and give it our best shot. This is one game we will try and play with a lot of concentration and determination.

“It’s one game I can assure you, we will try and play with a lot of flair because this is how we want to approach this game.”

The Makepekepe gaffer admitted the visitors, who reached the 2015 final before losing to TP Mazembe, have more experience in continental competitions but that would not stop the Zimbabwean champions from going for a victory.

“It’s never going to be easy because games of this magnitude at this level of competition are never easy but we are in this competition to face these kind of challenges and I am sure we are ready and very excited to be in this kind of situation,” Chitembwe said.

“We do have respect for USM Alger, they have achieved more than what we have achieved in this competition and we are only a young team which is very committed, determined and we are very happy with our past achievements and we still want to continue.

“And I hope tomorrow’s (today) game presents us with that platform to continue in this competition but one thing for certain is that it’s not going to be easy.”

Makepekepe might be without forward Leonard Tsipa and midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike, who are both struggling for fitness.

Tsipa has seen little action this season, having played for United only once in their opening league encounter against Shabanie Mine, while Rusike was only introduced as a late substitute in the 0-2 loss to Zamalek and he is still not fully fit to start.

“For Leonard (Tsipa), he is at 60 percent and is not yet fully fit and for Tafadzwa (Rusike) he is in between 80 to 100 percent fit,” Chitembwe said.

“But all the same it’s important to look at what we have and what we have is a team that is prepared to compete and whoever is selected will be capable of the job at hand.”

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