Lichaba eyes history with Bantu

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Mikia Kalati

BANTU goalkeeper Thabiso ‘Feso’ Lichaba has urged his side to make full use of their home advantage when they host Nigeria’s Enugu Rangers in Sunday’s CAF Confederations Cup clash at Setsoto Stadium.

The two teams will battle it out over a two-legged play-off in a bid to qualify for the group stage of the continental competition.

A Matšo Matebele automatically qualified for the Confederations Cup after their elimination from the CAF Champions League following a 5-2 aggregate loss to AS VITA of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“I think we should make life easier for ourselves by making use of the home ground advantage and winning the first leg on Sunday,” Lichaba said.

“That will help us going into the second leg in their backyard on the 20th of this month.

“We learnt from our experience in the previous round of the Champions League against AS VITA that these clubs can be dangerous when they have the home ground advantage.

“We have to learn from that experience and I think all these teams are very dangerous when they play at home. I hope we have learnt something from those games.”

The in-form Lichaba, who was the hero when Bantu eliminated Township Rollers of Botswana by saving two penalties, admitted that his side needs to perform better than the goalless draw on the domestic front against Likhopo on Saturday.

He said the busy schedule of the domestic and continental competitions may have taken its toll on the squad.

“It’s bit difficult to say but I think we did not have a proper rest for the holidays since we only had a three-day break before going back to work afterwards.

“However, I’m sure it will be a different game when we host Rangers and everyone will be in high spirits. It’s a dream for all of us to qualify for the group stage because initially we wanted to make it to the same stage of the Champions’ League but unfortunately it did not work out.

“So, we have another opportunity to rewrite the history books of football in our country and we all know how important it is to us and the club. It would be a proud moment for us and we will work hard for it,” the diminutive goalminder said.

The former Matlama goalkeeper, who took two seasons to establish himself as the first choice at Bantu, said saving two penalties against Rollers in December last-year had motivated him to maintain his impressive form for the club.

Lichaba was once again the hero as he stopped a late penalty in the goalless draw with Likhopo to help his side walk away with a point against the rejuvenated Red Army.

“Yes, that game against Rollers has motivated me to maintain and even improve on that performance. As a footballer, one has to keep working hard to improve. You learn every day and that game helped me a lot to improve.

“Hopefully my recent form will help me get a call-up in the national team because it is a dream for every player to play for his country and I will keep working hard to be even better,” Lichaba said.

 

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