Vita coach says battle not over yet

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side As Vita’s coach Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge says Be Forward Wanderers will pose a significant threat in the return leg of the CAF Champions league preliminary round tie next week Wednesday.

The Nomads were thumped 4-0 on Sunday in the first-leg tie in Kinshasa and need a five-goal margin win to progress to the first round.

AS Vita coach Jean-Florent Ikwange following the proceedings on the pitch with Osman (partly hidden)

And while the odds appear to swing AS Vita’s way, Ibenge said he expects the Nomads to come stronger, courtesy of a home-ground advantage.

“They [Wanderers] are not a cheap team. They are a good team. We had more pedigree than them, but we need to take them seriously and avoid underrating them, because they have some skilful players like that jersey 10 [Joseph Kamwendo] and the goalkeeper [Richard Chipuwa],” he said.

Ibenge also said comparatively, Wanderers are not among the strong teams on the continent, “but it is also important for them not to  underrate Wanderers”.

“We have to work hard and score more goals. But it all boils down to planning and seriousness. We will make the players understand that Wanderers cannot be taken for granted,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nomads’ captain Joseph Kamwendo has conceded poor performance, especially in the second half.

“We waited too long to come into the game. In the first half, we were waiting for something to happen. We  didn’t  create chances, we didn’t keep possession and  we paid for it.

“We need to take the initiative a bit more, to attack more and keep the ball. Unfortunately, that was not the case against Vita. In the second half fatigue crept in and we were not pressing much. We were also creating a bit more space for them. It’s a bit frustrating because you could see that we could have gone home with a goal. I think we did not play within the required standards.

“So, these are the areas we need to work on ahead of the reverse fixture,” he said.

On the possibilities of turning the tables, Kamwendo said: “We can’t just be stuck looking back at this game. We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes and you never know what can happen.”

On his part, Wanderers team manager Stevie Madeira said all is not lost and that they will still fight in the second leg.

“The battle is not over. We have seen our weaknesses and we will rectify them at home,” he said.

The Nomads are expected to arrive home this afternoon through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre.

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