Galaxy’s defensive woes ahead of Bucs clash

- KABELO BORANABI Correspond­ent

waneng Galaxy has departed for South Africa without central defender, Gofaone Molapi who misses the trip due to an injury.

The team is in Johannesbu­rg for the second leg of the CAF Confederat­ions Cup preliminar­y round tie against Orlando Pirates.

Galaxy heads into the fixture to be played on Sunday afternoon at the Orlando Stadium, trailing 3-0 from the first leg last weekend. Ahead of a clash with a free-flowing attacking Buccaneers side, Galaxy faces a headache without the reliable Molapi.

The lanky defender was stretched off with an arm injury in the last half-hour of the first leg that was played at the National Stadium last Sunday. He was then replaced by Gape Mohutsiwa, who was put in a makeshift role from his usual central midfield position. Isaac Paeye, who was surprising­ly omitted from last weekend’s matchday squad, has however made the trip.

He leaves coach Oris Radipotsan­e with the only central defensive option to partner with Fortune

Thulare at the heart of the defence. However, Mohutsiwa and Lebogang Ditsele can operate as makeshift centre backs.

“We do not know the severity of the injury, he (Molapi) is waiting to do a scan with the medical team, he is not in the squad,” Galaxy’s public relations officer, Tankiso Morake briefly told Mmegi

Sport. Molapi’s absence has added further weight to the diamond miners’ quest at the City of Gold.

The team will need to score at least three goals without conceding to have a chance to proceed to their maiden group stages of the competitio­n and Radipotsan­e was adamant his side can overcome the mountainou­s task.

“We still want to come back, they have scored three here and we also can go there and score three. However, they are a good side and have great depth but we still want to compete,” he said after the first leg encounter. Pirates welcome Galaxy to a stadium that they have turned into a slaughterh­ouse. The Buccaneers are unbeaten in the domestic league games since August 2018.

Under Josef Zinnabeaue­r, Pirates are yet to concede in continenta­l competitio­ns, they have now scored four goals in two away games, and this will be their first home game in the competitio­n after their second leg in the first round was cancelled. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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