DESPITE conceding two goals in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup at Rufaro on Saturday, Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro remains confident they will eliminate AS Adema of Madagascar from the tournament in a fortnight.
Harare City beat the Indian Ocean islanders 3-2 at Rufaro with a number of analysts questioning whether they will have the defensive solidity needed to stand the heat in Madagascar.
The return match is on February 28 in a small town of Madagascar, 600km away from the capital city Antananarivo.
AS Adema are based in the capital city but their home ground is undergoing renovations and will have to fulfil the fixture “home away from home’’.
Mangwiro had stressed on the significance of keeping a clean sheet at home but said his men were still in the driving seat, despite conceding twice, in a match they won through a first half strike by Ronald Chitiyo and a brace by Raphael Manuvire.
“Throughout the week I have been emphasising on the need to have a clean sheet, we let in two goals and, obviously, as a coach I feel disappointed but at the same time after scoring three, I don’t see how we will struggle to score in Madagascar,” said Mangwiro.
“So I would want to take a lot of comfort from that and I believe with the 3-2 victory, which we have, we can go on and build on it.
“I still fancy our chances, the kind of pressure that we were under in this game, they will also be under such kind of pressure and that we are leading 3-2 it means they are on the back foot and will play differently from how they were doing here.
“We can go on to score even more. Of course I had said I wanted a clean sheet but it was lapses in defence that cost us.
“There was no marking on the first goal and then the second one just carelessness on the part of our defender, you give a team a lifeline and it can always be difficult.”
Mangwiro also suggested that his contingent of six players who were in Rwanda with the Warriors for the CHAN tournament could still be struggling for confidence in much the same way as they did with the national team.
“Overall, we have big decisions to make going forward, sometimes you look at a team you feel you are almost there and then you play a game like this and you see a number of grey areas.
Mangwiro also spoke on new player, young Tanaka Ruzvidzo, whom he introduced in the latter stages of the game.
The 19-year old forward, who is a former athletics sprinter at national level and completed High School last year, was very comfortable on the ball, as he made some good runs into the box.
“I thought he made a very good impression. It is the same way which we introduced Tino (Kadewere) and I foresee him reaching greater heights and I am happy with his contribution in the very few minutes he was on the field of play.”
AS Adema coach Menakely Ruffin said he was happy with the result and is confident of turning the tables at home.
“We talked to our players to do everything that they can to win.