Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United will begin their respective CAF campaigns this weekend. Magosi will take on Zimbabwean champions Dynamos in the CAF Champions League while Moyagoleele will lock horns with Supersport United in a CAF Confederation Cup encounter.
Both clubs were Botswana’s representatives in last season’s CAF competitions and they will get another chance to progress further in their respective competitions. Tout Puissant (TP) Mazembe eliminated Magosi in the first round last year while GU was eliminated from the preliminary stage by Mozambican side Liga Muculmana.
Dynamos vs Chiefs (Rufaro Stadium, Harare, Sunday 3.30pm)
Magosi will face their more experienced Zimbabwean counterparts on the 8th February. Dynamos will be making their fifth appearance since 1998, a year in which they finished as the runners up in the competition. Ten years later they reached the semi finals and have also participated in the 2010 and 2011 editions of the tournament.
The Zimbabwean club once eliminated GU from the Champions League in 2010; they recorded a 4-2 aggregate win over Moyagoleele in the second round. Their squad consists of national team players such as Partson Jaure, George Chigova, Masimba Mambare and Simba Sithole who all featured at the recently ended 2014 CHAN tournament.
Magosi’s new signing Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi will be ineligible to take part in the competition as he was not registered in the official squad list in December. Chiefs’ assistant coach, Odirile ‘China’ Matlhaku, told Gazette Sport that they are aware of Dynamos’ threat but they are unfazed by the occasion.
“We have the ability to match them .They are a good side. We have studied their DVD’s from last season’s games and we have an idea of how they operate. It is vital to score an away goal and we can guarantee that we will not sit back and hope for a draw,” said Matlhaku.
The second leg encounter will take place at the National Stadium next weekend.
Supersport United vs Gaborone United (Lucas Moripe Stadium, Tshwane, Saturday 8pm)
Mascom Top 8 holders, GU, will face the 2013 Nedbank Cup runners up in a tricky away tie. They will come up against an in form side that has been performing well in the league. Moyagoleele will have to cope with the aerial threat posed by Matsatsantsa’s lanky striker Mame Niang while wingers Bennet Chenene and Thuso Phala could also be a nuisance.
Supersport also has an array of talent that includes David Mathebula, Bradley Grobler and Sibusiso Zuma. Despite Supersport’s quality, GU will not be intimidated according to their coach, Major David Bright.
The local side is also armed with players who have international experience and their coach’s firsthand experience of the neighbouring country’s league. “Our players are ready for the challenge. I am confident that we will do well. We are aware of their style of play but a lot will depend on our preparation. We learned a lot from last season’s campaign which was my first season but now I have a better understanding of the squad. Our strikers have started scoring goals so there is no reason to worry going into this game,” said Bright.
The coach concluded by revealing that they will take on Magosi in a practice match on Wednesday in preprepare for the game.