Bantu ready for Gabon giants
Bantu coach, Motlatsi Shale, has called on his troops to “finish the job” when they face as Mangasport of Gabon in Sunday’s african Champions League preliminary round second-leg match scheduled for Setsoto Stadium.
the Gabonese side hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, but Shale believes his players have what it takes to overcome the deficit and book a place in the next round of the competition.
“It is going to be a very tough match, but I think we have done our homework and the players are ready to deliver and put their names in the history books,” Shale said.
“there is no doubt this is going to be a massive test for us as a team, but we are ready.
“the players now need to go out there and finish the job they started in Gabon two weeks ago,”
Shale said soon after watching his troops thrash Highlanders 3-0 in Qoaling on Sunday in the LNIG Top8 quarterfinal second-leg tie.
Shale added Bantu would go for an early goal to settle the players’ nerves and then go for the kill later in the game.
“Our dream is now in the hands of these players because I feel we have performed our duty as coaches, which was to prepare them for this very important game,” said Shale.
“We are determined to win the match and book a place in the next round of the competition.
“It is now up to the boys to finish the job after holding their own in the first leg away from home.”
With Bantu desperate for goals come Sunday, Shale is hoping inform striker Litšepe Marabe would be on top of his game once again.
Marabe scored his 15th league goal of the season in the 1-1 all draw against LCS last Saturday, and Shale says the striker could decide the outcome of the Mangasport tie.
“He has an important role to play on Sunday and since we are a goal behind, scoring will be very important for us in the reverse fixture.”
the former national team striker also said what gives him confidence going into the weekend tie is he is now aware of Mangasport’s style of play.
“the good thing is we now have an idea of what to expect from Mangasport.
“We gave them a fight in their own backyard in the first leg match and created chances of our own, which we could have put away with a bit of luck.
Based on that, I think we have a great chance of going past them this weekend,” Shale said.
He added: “It’s true they have their strong points, but I think their weakness is in defence and that’s where we have to exploit and punish them.”
Shale also admitted his players could be tired after playing two games over the weekend. after the 1-1 draw against LCS on Saturday, Bantu hammered Qoaling Highlanders the following day in one of their finest, if not flawless, performances.
On his part, inspirational captain, tlali Maile, said the upcoming match was a “do or die” for the Mafeteng-based outfit.
“I think we have improved a lot as a team over recent months and did well in Gabon after a very demanding trip,” Maile said.
“We will do all it takes to win Sunday’s match and progress to the next stage of the competition.
“Sunday’s game gives us a great opportunity rewrite the history books by becoming the first local side to go past the first stage of this competition, hence our determination to do well for the nation.”
Bantu players end their training session at Setsoto Stadium in this file picture.