MAINLAND giants Young Africans should be on their guard as their opponents in CAF Champions League, Botswana’s Township Rollers are carefully plotting their downfall.
Township Rollers coach, Tomas Trucha has commended his side for a creditable performance away against Young Africans over the weekend as he believes they can finish the job back home in the return leg at the Botswana National Stadium in Gaborone on August 24 th this year.
Trucha’s side played out to a 1-1 draw against Yanga in the preliminary round, first leg at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Saturday and they just need to keep a clean sheet in the encounter to dump out Yanga.
In the first leg, Township R ollers took an early lead of the match, just after 7 th minute, through Phenyo Serameng, before Patrick Sibomana rescued the host by converting a late penalty in the 86th minute to give Yanga a lifeline.
The two sides are now delicately poised at 1-1 with all to play for in the return leg. The Czech R epublic born tactician said his game plan only worked in part in their first leg against Yanga and believes his side can complete the job on Saturday.
“ We prepared the plan which worked in the first half. We scored and had other chances. In the second half we brought confidence to the home team. We should have been more on the ball even though we were under pressure.
“ I know we can play better and be more on the ball. The team pushed and worked hard for this result. Big compliments to our goalkeeper (Wagarre “ Waxy” Dikago),” Trucha said.
H e a d d e d that although there was the disappointment of conceding late, the team remained focused in the dressing room after the game.
“ We stood focused and we know that with a fully packed stadium here at home we can do it. I am asking all R ollers fans to attend the second leg-together we can succeed.
It is still open and we can play better. But it is always better to have a 1-1 result away than to draw 0-0 or lose,” Trucha said.
Township R ollers alias ‘ Popa’ have kicked off their preparations ahead of the return leg tie as they believe with good preparations and the support of the home crowd they can finish the job started in Dar es Salaam.
“ We think the team did well and while we respect our opponents, with good preparation and the support of the home crowd, we believe we can finish the job at home,” said Popa’s G eneral Manager, Sydney Magagane.
According to R ollers reports posted on R ollers social media network, tickets for the match are already available for sale at a low price, so as to ensure the stadium is fully packed to support their team as well as boosting players’ morale.
Yanga Head Coach, Mwinyi Z ahera has said his players are in good shape and ready for the away challenge against R ollers.
He said already key defenders-- K elvin Yondani and Juma Abdul have rejoined the team’s camp, while right wingback Paul Godfrey ‘Boxer’ is still recovering from a knock he picked during the first leg tie and the Congolese trainer said the player will join the rest in camp any time soon.
The aggregate winner of the tie between Yanga and R ollers will proceed to the next round to meet the winner between G reen Mamba of Eswatini and Z esco United of Z ambia.
In the first leg tie held over the weekend, Zesco won 2-0 away at the Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini, through goals from Ugandan forward, Umaru K asumba and Z ambian marksman, John Chigandu.
The two sides will now play a return leg in Z ambia for a chance to meet the winner of the R ollers-Yanga tie.
Whoever would win that game in the next round would then progress to the lucrative group stage of the 20 19 - 2 0 CAF Champions League.