Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba is confident his charges can they will avenge their home loss when they visit Mbabane Swallows on Saturday and safely secure their passage to the lucrative mini-league stage.
The Zambian side travel to the Somhlolo Stadium seeking to overturn a 2-1 deficit against the Swazi champions in the reverse.
“Everyone is looking good. We have worked on the mistakes we made in the first leg and hope to get the result that we need to reach the group stage,” Numba said.
Zanaco have also been handed a defensive boost heading into the match with captain and defender Ziyo Tembo back after missing the first leg due to injury.
“Of course, he is an experienced player although the other two defenders we had in the first leg accounted for themselves well. But the captain is back and it is good motivation for the team,” the Zanaco trainer said.
However, Numba has dropped veteran midfielder Isaac Chansa and Nyaende due to tactical reasons. In their places come striker Chitiya Mususu, who set to make his continental debut following his January move from their Lusaka neighbours Napsa Stars, and midfielder Richard Kasonde who both missed the first leg.
“We are going there to attack, we are 2-1 down and the best way to defend is to attack so we will not go there with the mind of defending. Also, we will be cautious at the back that we don’t concede,” Numba added.
Zanaco also head into the game hoping to avoid their third successive defeat after losing 2-1 to Nkana in the 2018 Charity Shield semifinals on March 1 at Nkoloma before succumbing at the same venue six days later to Swallows.
Interestingly, Zanaco trace their last win to February 24 when they beat Gambia Armed FC’s 3-1 away in Banjul in their preliminary round final leg tie to advance 6-1 on aggregate.
“In football there is no home ground advantage anymore but what is important is how you apply yourselves in the match if you work according to your strength,” Numba said.
The winner qualifies to the league phase that commences in May with the loser relegated to the playoff of the Total CAF Confederation Cup.
Saturday, 17 March 2018
KCCA (Uganda) vs Saint George (Ethiopia) (0-0)
Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland) vs Zanaco (Zambia) (2-1)
Williamsville (Cote d’Ivoire) vs Wydad (Morocco) (2-7)
CF Mounana (Gabon) vs Al Ahly (Egypt) (0-4)
MC Alger (Algeria) vs MFM (Nigeria) (1-2)
Generation Foot (Senegal) vs Horoya (Guinea) (1-2)
Township Rollers (Botswana) vs Young Africans (Tanzania) (2-1)
UD Songo (Mozambique) vs TP Mazembe (DR Congo) (0-4)
Bidvest (South Africa) vs Primeiro de Agosto (Angola) (0-1)
Sunday, 18 March 2018
ES Setif (Algeria) vs Aduana (Ghana) (1-0)
Esperance (Tunisia) vs Gor Mahia (Kenya) (0-0)
Plateau United (Nigeria) vs Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) (2-4)
El Hilal (Sudan) vs AS Togo (Togo) (0-2)
ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) vs Zesco (Zambia) (1-0)
AS Vita (DR Congo) vs Difaa El Jadidi (Morocco) (0-1)
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) vs Rayon Sport (Rwanda) (0-0)