CAPS in must-win tie

HARARE - Zimbabwean champions CAPS United face Libyan giants Al Ahli Tripoli this evening in their African Champions League Group B showdown needing nothing short of a victory to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive.

The match kicks off at 10pm local time.

The Green Machine arrived in the Tunisian City of Sfax on Monday, where the match is being played at the Stade Taieb Mhiri due to instability in Libya following the uprising which toppled the late Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Makepekepe’s challenge for a place in the knockout stages has petered out following a disappointing 2-4 defeat at home to the same opponents in the first leg a fortnight ago.

If Lloyd Chitembwe’s charges fail to get a result this evening against Tripoli, it could mean the end of their Champions League fairytale as they will be only left with three points after four matches with two games still to play in their group.

Egyptian giants Zamalek, who face Algerian side USM Alger in the other Group B encounter, currently lead the standings with five points.

USM Alger and Al Ahli Tripoli are both tied on four points with the Green Machine anchoring the table with only three points.

“For me, I think we have already achieved what we wanted to achieve and it’s only a matter of wanting to continue,” Chitembwe said.

“Not many people gave us a chance to be where we are right now but we worked hard and against all odds here we are. We are not even under any pressure going into this one.

“We are actually happy with where we are at the moment and our hope is to just express ourselves freely.

“We just want to continue working very hard. We are equally an ambitious side. While we are also learning it’s also good to do it in style by getting positive results. However, we are under no pressure whatsoever to achieve that result.”

In the build-up to their reverse fixture against Tripoli, the Green Machine’s camp was ravaged by injuries as repercussions of fighting from two fronts in the African Safari and local Premiership begin to catch up with them.

Skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi, defender Dennis Dauda, goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda and Tafadzwa Rusike were all struggling with injuries.

In the end, only Zvirekwi and Rusike were able to play against the Libyans forcing Chitembwe to tinker with his usually reliable squad.

There was, however, some positive news after Sibanda, Dauda and Zvirekwi all made the trip to Tunisia and are all expected to start while Rusike failed to pass a late fitness test.

Comments (1)

al the best caps be strong and u will make it ,the nation will be behind you raise the fag high

moses - 21 June 2017

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