Shale confident of Bantu comeback

 

Mikia Kalati

Bantu coach, Motlatsi Shale, has praised his charges’ “fighting spirit” after their 1-0 loss to Gabonese giants AS Mangasport in Saturday’s African Champions League preliminary round first leg clash.

Shale on Monday told the Lesotho Times that Bantu were “a bit cautious” in the match played in Moanda because they did not know anything about their opponents.

Playing away from home, he added, was also challenging, but the coach vowed to go all out in the return leg scheduled for Setsoto Stadium on 1 March

“I believe we did our homework in Gabon and now know what to expect from Mangasport,” Shale said.

“My boys rose to the occasion and played according to instructions. We were just unlucky not to have scored as we created some very good chances.”

According to Shale, the players gave a good account of themselves, and matched Mangasport in every department.

“You never want to lose any match as a coach, but I think we did fairly well against a good side, and also considering that we were playing away from home. I believe we have a chance of winning the second leg tie when we host them in two weeks’ time.

“I know it is going to be a massive test for us, but from what happened in the first leg match, I believe we are capable of overturning the deficit in the reverse fixture and advance to the next round of the competition.

“The good thing is we now know who Mangasport are, their style of play, so we will be ready for them when we meet in the second leg match,” he said.

Shale was also delighted the likes of Hopolang Mohlalefi, who has never played international football,  managed to hold his own in Saturday’s tie.

A Matšo Matebele, who also have league and LNIG Top 8 commitments and play Qoaling Highlanders on Sunday in the return leg of the latter, arrived back home yesterday.

The Mafeteng-based team beat Highlanders 8-0 in the first leg of the Top8 quarterfinal three weeks ago, and Shale believes his players can cope with the busy schedule.

“We know about our commitments and luckily, managed to reinforce our squad although some of the players  will not be playing in the Champions League because they are not registered for the tournament.”

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