The permutations to advance to the group stage are simply in favour of GU to put their hosts in the DRC aside on Sunday, writes BONGANI MALUNGA
Gaborone United forward Thero Setsile has handed his club a slender advantage in their CAF Champions League first round tie against AS Vita.
The Reds currently hold a 1-0 lead after the first leg tie in Gaborone last Sunday. The corresponding leg in the Democratic Republic of Congo will take place this weekend where GU must aim to advance to the second round.
The tie will now shift to Kinshasa at the Stade des Martyrs on Sunday from 4.30pm.
Setsile the difference
Since joining GU in January this year, Setsile has established himself as a big game player who scored in statement victories against Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United in last season’s league title run. He proved to be the difference for Moyagoleele as his 35th minute strike was enough to beat AS Vita at the National Stadium.
There are multiple permutations at play for GU to qualify, in case the home team scores in the second leg. The first is that in order for GU to qualify for the second round, they must avoid defeat by more than one goal in the return leg but they must also score to preserve their aggregate advantage.
For example, a 2-1 defeat would send the tie to extra time and possibly a penalty shootout.
Secondly, GU will need to keep a clean sheet to ensure that they advance to the next round. A draw would also work in GU’s favour as they would have an additional unanswered goal that to give them a one goal margin in any aggregate total.
Additionally, an outright win of any score in the second leg would be just what the doctor ordered for GU.
Waiting in the wings
If GU manages to eliminate AS Vita, they will face either Asante Kotoko of Ghana or Rail Club du Kadiogo of Burkina Faso in the second round, which is the last hurdle before the group stage.
Only two Botswana clubs have ever qualified for the group stage, namely Township Rollers in 2018 and Jwaneng Galaxy this year (2022). Reaching the group stage yields a guaranteed prize of at least US$550 000 (approximately P7.06 million).