The Midweek Sun
ALGECO PLUS UPSETS GU
In a stunning upset, Gaborone United (GU) suffered a narrow defeat in the first leg of their CAF Confederations Cup tie against Elgeco Plus, a relatively unknown club from Madagascar. Now, GU faces a crucial test as they seek to rectify their errors and turn the tide in the return leg.
Despite playing away from home, Elgeco Plus came out on top, leaving GU with a mountain to climb in the second leg. GU must now travel to Madagascar and find a way to overcome the deficit and keep their Confederation Cup dreams alive.
GU coach, Pontsho Moloi, despite the disappointing first leg, remains confident in his team’s ability to turn things around in Madagascar.
“We created plenty of chances, but unfortunately, we couldn’t put them away. But we’re not deterred. We know what we’re capable of, and we’re looking forward to traveling to Madagascar and finding the back of the net,” Moloi said.
The match was a tightly contested affair, with both teams displaying strong defence and creating chances that went to waste.
Despite dominating the pitch with their usual attacking flair, GU struggled to convert their chances in the first leg, leaving their coach lamenting their lacklustre start.
Moloi is not throwing in the towel just yet, he’s confident that they can pull off a win in Madagascar, now that they’ve seen their opponent in action.
“We know what we’re up against now, and we’ll use that knowledge to improve our tactics and make up for our mistakes,” he said.
Moloi has clearly learnt his lesson from the first leg, underscoring the significance of scoring away goals in a two-leg competition. In no uncertain terms, he’s exhorting his players to up their game in Madagascar and seize every chance they get.
“In a knockout tournament like this, every goal matters, and away goals can be especially valuable therefore we need to score more goals when we get to Madagascar,” he mentioned.
Based on their lackluster showing in the first leg, GU is unlikely to make a deep run in the tournament, let alone balance it with their domestic league commitments. With a shortage of quality players, it’s tough to see them mustering the grit and drive that has made them a force to be reckoned with in the past.
On the other hand, the first leg match was a masterclass in tactical savvy by Elgeco Plus, showcasing exceptional technique and confidence in their play. They were able to penetrate GU’s defence with ease, despite their shorter stature, and with fans’ unwavering support fueling their performance.
The passion and energy from their few fans was palpable, and it seemed to galvanize the team, perhaps an indication of what will happen at their home ground.
They have been knocked out in the preliminary rounds in the past, but are, this time, aiming to reach the group stages. To achieve this, they must win the match in Madagascar by a score of 2-0 or more.