BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers will begin their 2019/2020 CAF Champions League campaign with an away trip to face Tanzanian club Young Africans on Friday. The sides will lock horns in the first leg of the preliminary round of the Champions League.
The CAF tie will be Rollers’ first competitive fixture of the new season, the club believes that their busy pre-season schedule toughened them up for their upcoming test. Like Rollers, the Tanzanian club has not participated in competitive action since May, their last game of the season was a 2-0 defeat at home against Tanzanian cup winners Azam FC.
Rollers will venture into the Tanzania National Main Stadium for the second time having beaten Young Africans in their own background in March 2018. Popa won the 2018 game 2-1 en route to qualifying for the group stages for the first time ever. The Gaborone side is presented with the same scenario as in 2018, they will start the tie away from home.
Popa will be buoyed by their last appearance at the Tanzania National Main Stadium as they managed to get crucial away goals courtesy of Lemponye Tshireletso and Motsholetsi Sikele. The key to Rollers’ 2018 victory in Tanzania was starting the game on the front foot, they asserted themselves on the game early and they were rewarded with a goal in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Popa had as many as six players in the opposition half when Tshireletso unleashed a long range effort to beat the Young Africans goalkeeper, electing not to sit back and absorb pressure from the home side was a useful approach as the home side was caught napping. The same intensity and approach could be crucial in Rollers’ aim to score an away goal or to win the game. Provided Rollers eliminates Young Africans, they will face either ZESCO United or Green Mamba FC. The return leg will be played on August 23 in Gaborone.