Be Forward Wanderers’ return to the CAF Champions League football after 17 years ended disastrously yesterday after a 6-1 aggregate loss to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outfit AS Vita yesterday.
Against all odds, the Nomads, who lost the first 4-0 in Kinshasa, believed in cold comfort that they would turn the tables at home, but sadly, ended up losing back-to-back.
The TNM Super League champions put up a more inspired performance than the first encounter. After falling behind early through an early goal converted by lethal forward Mundele Makusu, the Nomads fought back and levelled through substitute Peter Wadabwa’s 48th minute header.
Wanderers, who were without coach Yasin Osman, who was handed medical bed rest, kept on probing for the entire second half but a lapse of concentration saw Makusu net his second goal, ending the hosts bid of bowing out with some honour.
In his assessment, Nomads’ stand-in coach Bob Mpinganjira said he was disappointed that the team did not get the result despite a committed performance.
“We played really well but sadly or I would say unluckily, we ended up conceding. At that high level of football you need to be alert always. We lost concentration a bit and conceded the second goal. My honest assessment is that we played better this time around,” he said.
Mpinganjira said they do not regret gracing the continental showpiece despite the disgraceful exit stating that the players have gained exposure which can help them do better in international tournaments in future.
“Our aim was to go far in this competition but that did not happen. However, these players are not going to be the same again next time we enter this competition. So, overall we learnt a lot from organisation of such a competition and how to compete effectively,” he said.
The coach then asked Wanderers management and sponsors Be Forward Limited to ensure that the club competes in next year’s continental club championship again.
“If it takes us 10 years to compete in the continental tourney then we will destroy the foundation we have laid down this year. We shouldn’t be discouraged because we were booted out in the preliminary round,” he said. n