Zebras forced into goalkeeping change

Malapela is expected to start PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Malapela is expected to start PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

FRANCISTOWN: Interim Zebras coach, Mogomotsi Mpote might be forced to hand a full debut to inexperienced Orapa United goalkeeper, Lesenya Malapela when his side take on Zambia in the return leg of the 2020 CHAN qualifiers in Lusaka tomorrow.

The team’s preparations for tomorrow’s clash were dealt a massive blow after first choice goalkeeper Keagile Kgosipula, went AWOL. Malapela deputised Kgosipula in the first leg, suggesting he might be thrown into the deep end tomorrow. Introducing Malapela at such a crucial stage might be a gamble, but Mpote is not spoilt for choice. Kgosipula made vital saves in the first leg, but disappeared from camp without notice this week.

Mpote, who has made it clear that his mission will be to attack in Zambia, will rely on the likes of Segolame Boy and Joel Mogorosi.

Both Mogorosi and Boy were lively in the first leg. It remains to be seen as to whether Mpote will persist with striker Omaatla Kebatho who was a pedestrian in last week’s encounter.

Mpote will likely start with most of the players who did duty in the first leg, after a near flawless performance.

Zambia’s Chitiya Mususu, who had a good game on Friday, is likely to pose problems for the Zebras.

Despite not scoring, Mususu exhibited clever movements, which confused Zebras defenders. Mpote told the Zambian media upon arrival in Lusaka that the aim is to go for an outright win.“We are here to fight and try to win this game and qualify,” he said. “We are looking for a goal. If we get one goal it will be good for us and that goal will be defended well. Whether early or last minute goal. We are here to play good football and try to find a goal that will bring another goal.”

Zambian coach, Aggrey Chiyangi warned the Zebras that they would not have it easy when two sides meet in Lusaka. “They will not have it easy in Zambia. The most important thing is that we managed to hold them to a goalless draw. The only thing we have to do now is to go home and plan very well,” Chiyangi said in a post-match interview on Friday.

The winner of the two-legged tie will play either eSwatini or Angola in the final qualifying round for the Cameroon 2020 CHAN competition.

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