Galaxy, Ostriches in tough CAF ties

Tough job: Galaxy face an experienced Simba side PIC: BFA
Tough job: Galaxy face an experienced Simba side PIC: BFA

Jwaneng Galaxy will on Sunday meet Tanzanian giants, Simba SC in what will undoubtedly be their biggest challenge in the Champions League thus far. The match will be played at the National Stadium with a place in the lucrative group stages at stake.

Galaxy comfortably dealt with Diplomate from the Central African Republic in the preliminary round of the competition. However, against Simba, they know that there should be little margin for error and their concentration level will be put to the test. In addition, Morena Ramoreboli’s side go into the weekend clash knowing that they need a convincing win.

They cannot afford to be wasteful like they were against Diplomate. Failure to be clinical might significantly dent their chances of progressing to the next stage of the competition because Simba are known to be very ruthless at home. They have often won their home champions league clashes with a huge margin, and it will not be farfetched to assume that they could do the same against Galaxy. Last year’s losing CAF champions league semi-finalists are also known for their good defensive record away, something which should worry the hosts. Simba have been boosted by the arrival of six of their players who were part of the Tanzania national team squad that played two World Cup qualifiers against Benin. The six players include influential captain John Bocco and goalkeeper Aishi Manula. The players make the core of the on-form Tanzanian national team. Kenyan international Joash Onyango is also one of the players who Galaxy should worry about on Sunday.

This week, Simba mentor Didier Gomes warned that they will leave no stone unturned against Galaxy, in their bid to advance to the group stages. Galaxy will perhaps draw solace from the fact that Simba are still trying to build momentum. The league has just started in Tanzania and Simba have not been very convincing. For the month of September, they have lost one league match and drew one. They also lost in the community shield against Young Africans. The hosts have players such as goalkeeper Ezekiel Morake, Lucky Mokwena and Wendell Rudath who have the potential to cause problems for the visitors. Although the league has been inactive for almost two years, Galaxy have had good preparation for the Champions League, including playing several friendly matches in neighboring South Africa.

Galaxy assistant coach, Oris Radipotsane declared readiness for the match in an interview with Mmegi Sport this week. “We have previously played big teams such as Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns in the Champions League. The experience we gained playing them will come handy tomorrow. We have also extensively studied our opponents. We know what to expect tomorrow and we are ready for the task,” he said. The second leg clash will be played on October 24 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, Orapa United meet Cameroon’s most successful club Coton Sport in the first leg of the Confederations Cup at the Lobatse Sports Complex tomorrow. The Ostriches camp has been hit by unrest with Ugandan Lawrence Ndunga set to miss the match following a fist fight with Onkabetse Mankgantai. The two reportedly engaged in a brawl following a misunderstanding in their room in the camp. Mankgantai has also been released from the camp. However, United coach Teenage Mpote said that the player has not been excused from the match because of the reported fight with Ndunga. “He was released on compassionate grounds.

His father is not well. He will be back with the team soon,” Mpote said. Ndunga is said to have reported the matter to the police. Mpote would not be drawn into discussing issues surrounding the incident, referring the publication to club spokesperson, Amelton Gaefhele who was unavailable to comment. The winner between Orapa and Cotonsport will make it to the group stages.

Editor's Comment
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