CAPS United midfielder, Devon Chafa, yesterday warned his side against complacency when they face Lesotho champions Lioli FC in the Caf Champions League first round first leg match this afternoon.
BY HENRY MHARA IN MASERU, LESOTHO
Chafa, who in 2013 was part of the Dynamos squad that lost to Lesotho side Correctional Services 1-0 here in Maseru in the same competition, before overturning the result in Harare with a 3-0 win, has warned his teammates that they have to be at their very best if they are to get a positive result today.
“At this level of the competition, you have to be at your very best no matter the kind of opposition you are facing. This might sound like a cliche, but there are no small teams in football anymore. Who would have thought Cameroon would go all the way and win the Africa Cup of Nations? Most of us were expecting teams like Senegal and Ghana to win. Lesotho has a very competitive league. One of their teams gave us a very tough game when I was still at Dynamos. The team we are facing also dumped Bidvest Wits out of the Confederations Cup last year. That alone gives an indication of the kind of challenge we are facing. We have to minimise mistakes if we are to get a good result,” he said.
The midfielder has experience in the competition, having played in three campaigns with Dynamos.
“I will try to use my experience and help my teammates, who are new at this level. I’m happy that we have players in the team who have played in the Africa safari before with other clubs and with the national team. They know what is expected and that experience will be key.”
Caps United left Harare yesterday morning via South Africa and touched down in Maseru just after 5pm.
Chafa, who has reinvented himself since joining the club last year, is expected to start in midfield alongside Abbasi Amidu, Ronald Chitiyo, Joel Ngodzo and Phineas Bhamusi.
“We need to get a positive result to make life easy for ourselves in the return leg,” he said.
Coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, has been satisfied with the team’s preparations, where they played three international friendly matches against Mozambican and Zambian opponents.
The club and league’s top goal scorer, Leonard Tsipa, is not part of the squad here, as he was not registered for the competition.
The striker had asked to be omitted from the squad as he was angling for a move to Tanzania, which failed to materialise.
The club can only register him if they qualify for the mini league stage.
Simba Nhivi could be the major beneficiary of Tsipa’s omission.
If Caps United beat Lioli and progress to the next stage, as is expected, they will meet African giants, TP Mazembe, in the first round.
The match, set for the Setsoto Stadium, will kick off at 4pm Zimbabwe time.
Caps United probable 11
E Sibanda, V Musarurwa, R Pfumbidzai, J Jangano, D Dauda, D Chafa, J Ngodzo, A Amidu, R Chitiyo, P Bhamusi, S Nhivi