Shale con­fi­dent of Bantu come­back

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Bantu coach, Mot­latsi Shale, has praised his charges’ “fight­ing spirit” af­ter their 1-0 loss to Gabonese gi­ants AS Man­gas­port in Satur­day’s African Cham­pi­ons League pre­lim­i­nary round first leg clash.

Shale on Mon­day told the Le­sotho Times that Bantu were “a bit cau­tious” in the match played in Moanda be­cause they did not know any­thing about their op­po­nents.

Play­ing away from home, he added, was also chal­leng­ing, but the coach vowed to go all out in the re­turn leg sched­uled for Setsoto Sta­dium on 1 March

“I be­lieve we did our home­work in Gabon and now know what to ex­pect from Man­gas­port,” Shale said.

“My boys rose to the oc­ca­sion and played ac­cord­ing to in­struc­tions. We were just un­lucky not to have scored as we cre­ated some very good chances.”

Ac­cord­ing to Shale, the play­ers gave a good ac­count of them­selves, and matched Man­gas­port in ev­ery depart­ment.

“You never want to lose any match as a coach, but I think we did fairly well against a good side, and also con­sid­er­ing that we were play­ing away from home. I be­lieve we have a chance of win­ning the sec­ond leg tie when we host them in two weeks’ time.

“I know it is go­ing to be a mas­sive test for us, but from what hap­pened in the first leg match, I be­lieve we are ca­pa­ble of over­turn­ing the deficit in the re­verse fix­ture and ad­vance to the next round of the com­pe­ti­tion.

“The good thing is we now know who Man­gas­port are, their style of play, so we will be ready for them when we meet in the sec­ond leg match,” he said.

Shale was also de­lighted the likes of Hopolang Mohlalefi, who has never played in­ter­na­tional foot­ball, man­aged to hold his own in Satur­day’s tie.

A Matšo Mate­bele, who also have league and LNIG Top 8 com­mit­ments and play Qoal­ing High­landers on Sun­day in the re­turn leg of the lat­ter, ar­rived back home yes­ter­day.

The Mafeteng-based team beat High­land- ers 8-0 in the first leg of the Top8 quar­ter­fi­nal three weeks ago, and Shale be­lieves his play­ers can cope with the busy sched­ule.

“We know about our com­mit­ments and luck­ily, man­aged to re­in­force our squad although some of the play­ers will not be play­ing in the Cham­pi­ons League be­cause they are not reg­is­tered for the tour­na­ment.”

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