Tuesday, April 16, 2024

All or Nothing As Rollers and Orapa Return To Africa

Township Rollers and Orapa United will be seeking for reversals in fortunes when they play in the second leg of the African continental championships preliminary rounds.

Both teams suffered losses in the first legs of their respective Confederation of African Football (CAF) games. 

Rollers lost 1 ÔÇô 2 away to Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale Sport (CNaPS) in the CAF Champions league while Orapa United lost by a solitary goal to Mbabane Swallows in a game played at the Francistown Sports Complex. 

Speaking in an interview, Township Rollers coach Mogomotsi Mpote said his team will be going all out to win when they host CNaPS Sport at the National Stadium on Saturday.

“What we have realised during the first leg of our game is that CNaPS Sport is a very strong team. They have been playing in CAF competitions for the last four years and their results at home shows they are no pushovers,” Mpote revealed.

“If you look at their results at home, they have played and beat some of the best teams like Raja Cassablanca of Morocco and Gor Mahia of Kenya and managed to win. That on its own shows the calibre of the team we are facing,” he continued.

Despite the enormity of the task ahead, Mpote is however optimistic that his team can successfully turn the tables over the Malagasy side, more so that they now know what they are up against.

“The little we have gleaned from our encounter with them has given us some pointers to work on before we face them in the second leg. They are a technically good side that plays as a collective but they can be beaten,” the Rollers Coach explained.

Against CNaPS in Madagascar, Mpote said Rollers played well but were let down by two lapses in concentration.

“If you look at the game, we conceded the first goal in the second minute of the referees’ optional time at the end of the first half. We then managed to level scores, only for us to concede towards the end of the game due to another lapse in concentration. We will be working on correcting such lapses during our next encounter,” said Mpote.

“Aside from that, I believe we can overturn this deficit. In fact, I believe we were a little bit unlucky not to score at least two goals against them,” Mpote added.

Going into the second leg, Mpote has called on Batswana to fill the National Stadium and support Rollers.

“We will need Batswana to rally behind us on Saturday. This is not about Rollers. It is about Botswana and we are determined to fly our country’s flag high,” the Rollers Coach concluded.

Meanwhile, Orapa United players left for Mbabane Swaziland this past Monday and Tuesday ahead of their weekend second leg encounter with Swallows in the CAF Confederations Cup.

Despite their loss, the team’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Tebatso Hule has reiterated Head Coach Madinda Ndlovu’s assertions that they will be goping all out for a win.

“Our weekend loss has not dented our team morale,” Hule said in an interview. “As a team, we are very focussed on the bigger picture. We want to progress to the next round and we still believe we will make it through,” said a defiant Hule.

“We have just played the first 90 minutes of our three hours encounter. Now we are going to Swaziland to play the other 90 minutes,” the Orapa United PRO said.

According to Hule, to ensure the team is ready for the second leg of the preliminary battle against Swallows, Orapa United left early to Swaziland in order to acclimatise.

Hule said due to inadequate flights, the team left in two batches, with the first batch leaving on Monday and the second batch on Tuesday.

The game between Orapa United and Mbabane Swallows will be played this coming Saturday. 


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