Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
HARARE City coach Taurai Mangwiro says his charges will not throw in the towel easily despite facing a daunting away assignment in Zambia where they need to score against Zanaco to save their maiden CAF Confederation Cup campaign.
The Sunshine Boys already have one foot out of the tournament after conceding twice in the 2-1 first round, first leg, defeat at Rufaro last week.
Mangwiro admitted before the team’s departure yesterday that they need something special to avoid an early exit in their maiden campaign.
The Zimbabweans are under pressure to score as they need to bang at least two goals without reply or to win 3-2 at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka to ensure a safe passage to the second round.
“We know the areas where we fell short and we have been stressing on those points during the preparations this week.
“I still feel we were our own worst enemies when we lost that game. There are some things that we didn’t do correctly. I don’t think the guys from Zanaco did anything out of this world to beat us.
“But this is a situation that you don’t want to be. We got ourselves into this mud and we have to find ways to get out of this.
“The good thing is that everyone in our team believes that we can overturn the deficit. It’s a feeling that we all share that we don’t want to bow out at this stage. I know it’s not going to be easy, but in football anything can happen.
“If you look at it, we need to score at least twice and win this game for us to progress. It’s something that can be done.
“I believe the desire to progress among the boys will work as a big motivation because we know what opportunities lie ahead,” said Mangwiro.
The Sunshine Boys flew out yesterday without their big forward Francisco Zekumbawira and newboy Jimmy Tigere, who was injured early in the pre-season and has not played a part so far.
City were dealt a blow as they were hoping that Zekumbawira, who was injured three weeks ago in the 3-1 win away at AS Adema of Madagascar in the preliminary round, would recover on time.
The onus still remains on the strikers Honey Chimutimunzeve, William Manondo and Kuda Kumwala who had a poor game last week.
Mangwiro could still turn to experienced Martin Vengesai who was not used last week or to one of their rookies Tanaka Ruzvidzo who scored the consolation last week.
Midfielders Ronald Chitiyo and Raphael Manuvire are also expected to play a big part in the do or die encounter while skipper Themba Ndlovu has to ensure his defence is impenetrable.
City were expected to arrive in Lusaka last night. They are scheduled to train at the match venue today to have a feel of the grass surface at the 5 000-seater stadium.
Zanaco coach Mumamba Numba was in high spirits after taking the first leg lead. He said his charges are now looking forward to finish off the tie with the away goals advantage.
Numba told Zambia’s Daily Mail that morale is high in their camp and that the technical bench is impressed with the attitude of the players. Zanaco have a clean bill of health and should look to get an early goal to unsettle the visitors.
“We don’t have serious injuries. All the players that had minor knocks are back in training fighting for places,” he said.
Harare City squad
M. Nyamupangedengu, T. Dube, A. Chiveya, C. Dickson, B. Moyo, E. Madhanaga, R. Uchena, R. Chitiyo, J. Jam, R. Manuvire, M. Nyenye, K. Kumwala, H. Chimutimunzeve, T. Ndlovu, T. Samanja, W. Manondo, T. Ruzvidzo, M. Vengesai.