27 February 2013

Lesotho/Zimbabwe: 'We Can't Beat Them' . . . Lesotho Coach Salutes Steamrolling Glamour Boys, Pasuwa Wants Team to Stay Focused

LESOTHO Correctional Services coach, Mosholu "Shoes" Mokhothu, has hailed Dynamos as a powerful force that is a class apart from any football club that can be found in the tiny mountain kingdom. The Glamour Boys handed LSC a 3-0 beating, which could have easily run into double digits had they not squandered their chances, in the first leg of their Champions League preliminary round tie at Rufaro.

The two teams meet in the second leg in Maseru on Sunday.

Mokhothu said DeMbare were from another planet, when compared to clubs that play in the Lesotho Premiership, and none of the local teams can stand a chance against the Harare giants.

In a frank interview with the Lesotho Times, ahead of the return leg of their Champions League showdown, Mokhothu said his team gave it all they had, in the battle at Rufaro, but were simply beaten by a superior opponent.

He said the Zimbabwe Premiership was a far better and more competitive league than the Lesotho top-flight league and that showed in the match-up between the two countries' best teams.

"We gave everything we could to win the match, but we were outclassed in all departments by a better team, playing in a league better than ours," Mokhothu told Lesotho Times.

"We have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan to win the second leg tie at home."

The LCS coach told the Lesotho Times that his team could have conceded more goals than the three goals they leaked against DeMbare at Rufaro.

LCS are likely to face a tougher and sharper DeMbare outfit on Sunday given that the Glamour Boys have added more personnel to their attack and have been boosted, both physically and psychologically, by their Bob '89 showdown against Highlanders.

The Glamour Boys hammered Bosso 4-0 at Rufaro on Sunday, after racing to a 3-0 first-half lead, to complete a comprehensive 6-1 aggregate victory.

Mokhothu conceded that his side faces a mammoth task of scoring more than three goals, in the return leg, and also preventing Dynamos from scoring, for them to advance to the next phase of the competition.

"There is no time to rest. We will be back at the training ground as soon as possible to try and find ways to break them in the second leg match," said Mokhothu.

"I may not guarantee that we will make it past the preliminary round, but we have to at least go out with our heads held high by winning the second leg encounter."

LCS captain, Khoto Sesing, told reporters that their game plan to get a draw backfired after they conceded a goal in the first half of the match.

"It was a tough game, we did everything according to what we had planned but it didn't work out," Sesing told reporters.

"During the match, we played with one striker upfront because we only wanted to contain them here (Rufaro) and then play our normal game in the return leg.

"But it's unfortunate it went this way.

"Three goals are a bit too much and, yes, we are now under immense pressure to overturn this result."

DeMbare coach, Callisto Pasuwa, says the Harare giants need to carry "the right attitude" when they travel to Lesotho.

The Glamour Boys are sitting on a healthy 3-0 cushion from the first leg through goals from Tawanda Muparati, newboy Boban Zirintusa and defender Partson Jaure.

DeMbare are scheduled to leave on Friday morning with their spirits high following the morale-boosting 4-0 thrashing of bitter rivals Highlanders in the Bob '89 Super Cup at Rufaro last Sunday.

The players are expected to get their share of the US$110 000 before departure which will definitely act as an incentive to the Zimbabwe champions.

The players, who were initially promised US$40 000 before the prize money was increased from US$100 000, could get additional extra money on their allocation.

Pasuwa said the spirits were high in his camp and is looking forward to completing their task over the minnows who have never made it past the preliminary round.

DeMbare started their campaign in the preliminary round this year owing to the poor performances in the last two seasons as they failed to make it to the group stages.

However, Pasuwa said he has been encouraged by his team's form in the matches they have played to date but would not let his charges get carried away.

"It's not a matter of focusing on what we have achieved in the previous games. The first leg result is now in the past and we are looking at a new game where we are starting on a 0-0 scoreline.

"In fact, I have been telling these guys that it's not over yet. Look at us, we are coming from a game where we scored four goals at home against Highlanders in the Bob Super Cup and if this Lesotho side will also be playing in front of their supporters what can stop them from scoring if we don't take this match seriously?

"So we need the right mentality when we go there knowing that we are representing Zimbabwe. We have to fight for our national pride," said Pasuwa.

DeMbare resumed their preparations yesterday with all players in attendance except for Milton Makopa, who has been sidelined by illness since the beginning of the season.

Dynamos also missed the services of Ocean Mushure in the first leg because of injury while Farai Mupasiri, who was the only striker left at the club, was not fully fit battling a back problem.

Pasuwa yesterday expressed his joy in the team's scoring capabilities as they have harvested 10 goals in the last three games.

DeMbare have been facing a crisis upfront following the departure of key players Simba Sithole and Rodreck Mutuma to South Africa.

Fransisco Zekumbawira and Mupasiri are the two strikers eligible to play in the continental tournament.

"If you look at it most of the goals that we have scored came from the midfielders, defender and strikers.

"So it's a team thing and the good thing is that all the players are now okay, although we don't know what will happen as the week progresses.

"The last time we had Ocean and Farai who were injured but they are now fit.

"I am glad that at least we now have two natural strikers with the coming of Francisco (Zekumbawira) but we are still working on his match fitness."

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