Sunday World

Royal must take ZESCO out in first leg, says Nteo

- By Kgomotso Mokoena

Royal AM co-coach Abram Nteo says they will have to take Zambian side ZESCO United out of business when the two sides meet in the first leg of the preliminar­y round of the Caf Confederat­ion Cup at the Moses Mabhida Stadium at 4pm today.

Nteo said they had done their research despite the club having hogged headlines for bad reasons once again this week when his co-coach Khabo Zondo was not part of the side that lost 3-1 to Supersport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.

Talks were that, just like Dan Malesela, Zondo was on his way out of Royal AM, having also been appointed as co-coach at the beginning of the season.

However, Nteo explained that Zondo was left behind to train players who remained at the Royal Ranch, the clubhouse in Pietermari­tzburg.

Zondo was at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday as Royal AM were having their last preparatio­ns at the match venue, with the former Golden Arrows coach having a tactical session with the players.

The veteran mentor’s expertise will be required to ensure Royal AM build a healthy lead in the first leg before going to the second leg in Ndola next Saturday. “Look, we are playing against a team that has been competing in this competitio­n for a very long time,” said Nteo.

“They know the ins and outs of this competitio­n. So, it is not going to be an easy game.”

ZESCO are experience­d campaigner­s in Caf club competitio­ns. In 2016, they reached the Champions League semifinal, losing to Mamelodi Sundowns, who went on to win the cup.

“They have internatio­nal players in their squad – from Kenya, Uganda – they are a strong team,” said Nteo. “But the most important thing for us is to make sure that we don’t concede a goal at home and we try to score as many goals as we can so that when we go into the second leg, we have an advantage.”

 ?? Images /Gallo ?? Abram Nteo of Royal AM
Images /Gallo Abram Nteo of Royal AM

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