Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S Confederation Cup representatives Harare City are scheduled to leave for Madagascar tomorrow morning for a date with destiny in their maiden participation in the second tier continental inter-club competition.
They will be out to try and safeguard their slender lead this weekend against AS Adema. The Sunshine Boys are carrying a 3-2 advantage from the first leg at Rufaro last week and they know it’s still game on this Sunday on the Indian Ocean Island tourist resort town of Mahajanga, which is 550km from the capital Antananarivo.
The team yesterday had a double training session under the guidance of their coach Taurai Mangwiro and his assistants Mike Madzivanyika and Mkhupali Masuku as they sought to polish up their act before departure.
City will have at least three days to acclimatise with the conditions in Madagascar and they should not have problems playing the return leg on the artificial turf which is almost similar to Rufaro.
Mangwiro yesterday said his charges are anxious to progress to the next round of the competition but they had made life a bit difficult for themselves after conceding twice at home in the first leg win last week.
“The players are anxious. Everyone is looking forward to a positive outing and it’s good now we realise the kind of challenge that we have on our hands.
“It was unfortunate we conceded those goals, it’s something that is worrisome but if you looked at it well it wasn’t like we were under pressure to let in the goals.
“We were a bit careless in defending but this time around we hope to tighten our belts and make sure that everyone is geared up,” said Mangwiro.
The side will have their last training this morning where Mangwiro is expected to finalise his traveling squad.
The Sunshine Boys reported a clean bill of health yesterday, with the exception of long-term casualty Jimmy Tigere.
Midfielders Tendai Samanja and Ronald Chitiyo, who scored one of the goals in the first leg win, were being monitored by the medical team last week after complaining of knocks but Mangwiro yesterday said the duo would be fit for the big battle. Harare City warmed up for the trip by playing two friendly matches against league champions Chicken Inn at the weekend in Bulawayo.
Mangwiro said they are hoping that their strikers will find their range after missing a glut of scoring opportunities in the first leg. Midfielders Chitiyo and Raphael Manuvire, who scored a brace, were the heroes at Rufaro.