Concentration lapse and poor decision-making combined to consign.
Gaborone United (GU) to defeat in their Caf Confederations Cup match against Supersport United (SSU) played before a paltry crowd at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Attridgeville near Pretoria on Saturday night.
A brace from Senegalese striker Mame Niang was enough to hand his side a 2-0 win in this first leg tie.
Ahead of the tie, GU head coach Major David Bright oozed confidence that his side would come away with a positive result, but it was not to be as his charges crumbled in the opening minutes.
Niang, operating as a lone striker, scored in the 10th and 20th minutes to make life difficult for the Reds.
“I think we could have won the game had it not been for the two stupid goals we gave away in the opening minutes. Concentration was our main downfall in the beginning. If Shoes (Seosenyeng) could have followed the instructions by sticking on that tall guy (Niang) we could be saying a different story,” Bright pointed out at the end of the game.
The former army major added that his players struggled in the beginning mainly because the stadium in Pretoria was a bit heavy.
Despite the defeat, Bright remains optimistic that they can turn the tables around when they host the South African side in the return leg scheduled for the National Stadium in Gaborone this Saturday (February 15).
“We are not under pressure in the return leg and we will play our normal game. But it is important that we do the job here which I’m confident we will do. We had chances to score on Saturday night but once again we were not clinical,” he added.
Bright said he will have to recall marksman Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping to the team as GU search for the goals to overturn the deficit.
After an inspiring performance which helped his side to a 4-0 win against Uniao Flamengo Santos in a Premier League match on January 31, Moatlhaping was surprisingly omitted from the team which travelled to Pretoria.
Contrasting statements were given as an excuse for leaving the clinical striker behind but Bright confirmed that he would be available for the return leg.
“Jomo could have helped us win the game in Pretoria but unfortunately he was not available. I’m trying to get him ready for the return leg because I know he was hurt by the decision to leave him behind. He is a strong boy and I know that he will do the job for the club,” the tough-talking coach said. The Reds need a 3-0 win to advance to the next round of the African competition.
Meanwhile, GU secretary, Herbert Letsebe, has said that plans for the weekend’s match are underway. Tickets for the game are selling P50 for the grand stands while the rest of the stands will cost P30.
“I would like to appeal to football loving people to buy the tickets in time and rally behind the team on Saturday. The players need them in order to proceed to the next stage,” said Letsebe.
In the Caf Champions League, Mochudi Centre Chiefs had a disappointing trip to Zimbabwe when they were hammered 3-0 by Dynamos in a rain-soaked match played at the National Stadium in Harare.
A brace from Washington Pakamisa and a solitary strike from Masimba Mambare was enough to give the Zimbabwean giants a healthy lead ahead of the return leg in Lobatse on Sunday.