MBABANE Swallows coach Thabo ‘Koki’ Vilakazi says it is possible for his team to overcome Zanaco in next Wednesday’s CAF Champions League pre-group stage match at Nkoloma stadium.
Zanaco will be looking to beat the Swazi side comfortably at home to make the return match a bit easier and qualify to the group stage. The return leg is due a week later in Mbabane. Vilakazi has however conceded that the Zambian team is superior to his.
“Patriotism aside, Zambians are just playing at a higher level than us. Zanaco will be very tough opposition and now we will be without Mkhweli and Njabulo as you know they are suspended. I just pray for a midweek clash so I can play the team to fight it out in Zambia,” Vilakazi told the Swazi Times Newspaper.
He is, however, not ruling out his team’s chances of making it past the Zambians who will be playing Mbabane Swallows for the second time in five years. The two teams clashed in the same tournament in 2013 at the preliminary stage, with Zanaco advancing on a 3-2 aggregate win, all goals scored in Zambia as the second leg ended goalless at Somhlolo National Stadium.
“I could have played the players to use in the Zanaco match against Milling but there’s also that pressure for results since we all knew about their Ingwenyama Cup record,” said Vilakazi.
The winner of this two-legged tie progresses to the group stage where the money starts rolling in. Swallows beat Lesotho’s Bantu FC on away goal rule after the match ended 5-5, the locals winning 4-2 away, before losing 3-1 at home last Wednesday.
Zanaco eased past Gambia’s Armed Forces with a 6-1 aggregate score following 3-0 and 3-1 wins at home and away respectively.