SAASA MUNALULA and MICHAEL MIYOBA write @SunZambian ZAMBIA’s envoys in the CAF Confederations Cup, Napsa Stars is happy with the away win in the Pre Group stage first leg fixture played at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi but want to ensure their passage to the Group Stage in Sunday’s match. “It’s a big step on […]
SAASA MUNALULA and
MICHAEL MIYOBA write
ZAMBIA’s envoys in the CAF Confederations Cup, Napsa Stars is happy with the away win in the Pre Group stage first leg fixture played at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi but want to ensure their passage to the Group Stage in Sunday’s match.
“It’s a big step on our way to the group stage. Gor Mahia is a big team. It’s not easy to beat them at home. We know their record. It’s very good for us,” coach Mohammed Fathi said in a post-match interview.
Nkana FC beat Moroccan side TAS de Casablanca at home on Sunday in their Pre Group stage fixtures to increase their chances of qualifying for the Group Stages of the CAF Competition.
NAPSA Stars punished Kenya’s Gor Mahia 1-0 while Zambian champions Nkana beat TAS de Casablanca 2-0 thanks to Freddy Tshimenga and Obeddy Masumbo’s strikes in a fixture characterised by heavy rains at Nkana Stadium in Kitwe.
Tshimenga put Nkana ahead 18 minutes into the first half while Masumbuko doubled Nkana’s advantage four minutes before the final whistle as the Kelvin Kaindu drilled Kitwe giants triumphed in the absence of their passionate fans as the game was played behind closed doors in Wusakile
The win maintained Nkana’s unbeaten record at Nkana Stadium where the best results for visiting teams in CAF Competitions has been drawn.
Nkana will now need a draw when they visit Morocco next week for the return leg fixture slated for Stade Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, to make it to the Group Stage of the CAF Confederations Cup.
Meanwhile, Nkana thumped Moroccan side TAS de Casablanca 2-0 in the first leg tie of the CAF Confederation Cup pre-group stage played at home in Wusakile, Kitwe.
The Pensioners Coach said he was impressed by his side’s concentration levels and ability snatch a goal at the depth of the match.
“When you play an away game, you have to build pressure on the opponent. When time is running out and they are not scoring, the last 10-15 minutes, the concentration levels drop and they tend to play high. This is why we took our chances there”, he said.
Coach Fathi urged caution from his players ahead of the Return Leg of the fixture next Sunday.
“Business is not yet over. Football is an unpredictable game. We have to keep focused. We have to finish the game at home. Immediately we get on the plane to Zambia, the celebration is over. It’s time to work!” he warned.
On the injury scare for Augustine Banda, the Pensioners Coach said he will await the medical assessment.
“So far so good. He is much better. We have the medical team to do the recovery and assess the player. We will wait for their assessment report as we plan for the next game.”
Coach Fathi took time to praise his team’s tactical discipline.
“The game was locked in the midfield. Although they (Gor Mahia) pushed hard in the second half, our goal keeper, midfield and defense did a good job. Everything worked according to our tactical plan. That’s how we managed to win the game.”
On the handing playing opportunities to young players, Coach Fathi urged the gradual integration of young players into the team.
“This is how we give wings to the youngsters. We are not afraid to feature the youngsters. We don’t want to rush the young players. We want them to learn the tactics gradually.”
Coach Fathi thanked the fans and club management for the support and also praised the players’ for putting maximum efforts on the pitch to make the win possible.
Ghanaian international Daniel Adoko scored the only goal of the match.
Napsa will host the Kenyans next Sunday at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka with the winner in the two legged fixture marching on to the Group Stage of the Continental championship.