ZESCO United coach George Lwandamina has warned Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa not to get too excited because their downfall will be on the field of play.
Sundowns arrived in Ndola yesterday afternoon at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport aboard a chartered plane breaming with confidence ahead of tomorrow’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League semi-final first leg tie at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
Lwandamina said Sundowns will have to wait for 90 minutes to declare victory because Zesco, the Zambian Super League champions, were well prepared.
“We have to wait for 90 minutes; as far as I am concerned victory is never decided off the field of play. So I urge Sundowns not to be excited. The boys are ready for the task and they will definitely handle our opponents well,” he said.
He called on Zambian soccer fans to turn up in large numbers to motivate the team in their quest for the elusive CAF title.
“Players need motivation and that can only come from the fans. They should not just fold their arms and wait for a miracle. Any miracle performed in the Bible involved people; it is my hope that Zambians will offer their support on Saturday,” Lwandamina said.
Meanwhile, Sundowns coach Pisto Mosimane said the team’s target is a win but will not under-estimate the Zambian side.
Mosimane said Zesco’s race to the semi-finals of this tough tournament was not by sheer luck and hence deserve respect.
“It will be a totally different game. Our first meeting was in a friendly game in 2014 and such matches don’t matter; this will be an official game hence expect a different ball game. We have respect for Zesco because their race to the finals was not out of luck. They have proved to be a strong side,” he said.
He said he was confident that the team was capable of beating Zesco in their backyard.
“We are capable of breaking down Zesco in their backyard. I know they have not lost at home, but that can change. Sundowns have managed to grab wins in away games and the same can happen at Levy Mwanawasa,” he said.
And striker Billiat Khama said Zesco was not an easy side but his team is mentally strong to fight.
“They are a strong team but we have worked on a few things that can make us stabilise. Physiologically we are very much ready to handle the pressure and steal a win,” he said.