Sofapaka coach bullish despite first leg defeat
Sofapaka have been left with a mountain to climb ahead of the Caf-Confederations Cup second round preliminary clash with FC Platinum of Zimbabwe after they shockingly suffered a 2-1 defeat at home on Sunday to the visitors.
Though the defeat leaves them in a precarious position as they plot on devising a formula of subduing the offensive minded Zimbabweans, their head coach Sam Timbe is not giving up yet.
“‘I have been in this (football) business for many years and I know anything can happen. I’m not in any way worried with the defeat but concerned with the manner we conceded the two goals. They were cheap goals, and yet we created over five clear cut chances which we should have converted. It’s quite unfortunate but I have not given up. The war is still on and we fight to the end,” he said.
The Platinum boys carry a precious two away goal advantage ahead of the return meeting but their coach Norman Mapesa was rather harsh in rating his boys, terming their display ‘sluggish’.
A straight talking Mapesa went on to twist the knife in Sofapaka’s wounds, saying that they only gave 25 percent in the Sunday win and will be looking to reach their optimum levels when the two sides collide again at the Mandava Stadium, Zvishavane in Midlands Province.
“We came here (Nairobi) for results but we are not yet up there– where we want to be. To me we were sluggish and I think we just gave twenty-five percent,” he lamented.
With that warning, Sofapaka should brace for a titanic battle in the return leg with each side keeping an eye in round one of the competitions.
Timbe will also need to address his midfield weakness, which gave the Zimbabweans too much freedom to boss the midfield and win second balls.
In 2011, Soafpaka had a fairy tale run in the competition, bowing out at the last hurdle to the group stages after losing 3-4 on aggregate to Club Afriacine of Tunisia.
Prior to falling to the Tunisian giants, they had knocked out Atlético Sport Aviacao 5-4 on post matches penalties in the pre-liminary round before eliminating Ismailia of Egypt 4-2 in round one.
The Ismailia victory win was followed by knocking out Congolese side St. Eloi Lupopo in the second round on an away goal rule after a 2-2 aggregate.