By Mphatso Sam
Malawi representatives in the Confederations of African Football (CAF) club competitions, Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets say they are geared up for the return matches on December 5,2018 at the Bingu National Stadium and Kamuzu Stadium, respectively.
CAF Confederations flag carriers, Silver Strikers lost 1-0 to Cecrle Mbe’ri Sportif (AOC MS) of Gabon at Augustin Monedan in Libreville, Gabon in the first leg as they only managed to hold the hosts for 20 minutes before conceding a Nani Nono Yohane’s decisive goal.
In Kenya, at Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, CAF Champions League representatives, Bullets managed to hold Gor Mahia for 90 minutes before conceding a late goal at 93 minutes of added time from substitute Bernard Ondiyeke to give the Blantyre giants slim hopes in the competition.
Both teams will be playing their return matches on Wednesday with Bullets hosting the Kenyan Champions at the Kamuzu Stadium and in Lilongwe, Silver will face AOC MS at the Bingu National Stadium (BNS).
Interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Tuesday, the Central Bankers’ Assistant Coach, Peter Mgangira said the team would use an attacking strategy to recover the 1-0 score line and upset the tables by scoring two goals.
“Anything is possible in the game of football. We are playing at our backyard so we are hoping that we will make a lot of things so that we can push the boys to get two goals,” he hoped.
Mgangira said Silver has watched and played AOC MS and that they have a clue on their tactics, style of play and how they are going to play at the BNS, adding that they would push for an early goal to put their opponents under pressure.
Bullets Team Manager, James Chilapondwa said Gor Mahia is not as dangerous as people used to say and being optimistic that a good result would come out at Kamuzu Stadium as they would utilize home ground advantage.
“Gor Mahia is an experienced side in Kenya and the coach has seen the weakness encountered during the first game. We will obviously get a good result, we managed to hold them at their backyard and we cannot afford to defeat them at home,” he said.
Silver Strikers will be going into the match with all their key players available whereas for Bullets, they will go into the field of play without the services of their hit man striker, Patrick Phiri who is still nursing an injury.
Bullets which is the most successful team in Malawi ever competed in the CAF Champions League having reached the group stages in 2004, made a return to the continental showpiece after they last participated in 2015 following their back to back league title wins in 2014 and 2015.
The Capital City giants returned to the CAF tournament after close to a decade of no show.
The League Champions winners will get US$1.5 million prize money whereas in the Confederations Cup, the winner will walk away with US$990, 000.