Zimbabwe’s representatives in the CAF Champions League CAPS United who relegated five time champions TP Mazembe and SC Zamalek respectively are on the verge of storming into the semis of the ongoing tournament would they pass the USM Algiers huddle before facing Mozambican side Ferroviario da Beira in the quarter finals.
BY SPORTBRIEF EDITOR
United are in Group B together with log leaders Al Ahli Tripoli of Lybia, second placed USM Algiers of Algeria and log anchors SC Zamalek of Egypt.
The Lloyd Chitembwe led side will lock horns with the Algerians tomorrow at 2100hrs at Stade du 5 Juillet.
Ferroviario automatically qualified into the last 8 after all Sudanese clubs were disqualified following an interferance of their government into football matters, which is against FIFA’s Code of Conduct.
Al Hilal and Al Merreikh have been barred from the Champions League and Al Hilal Obeid from the Confederation Cup.
It means that Friday’s two Champions League final Group A matches featuring Hilal and Merreikh will not now go ahead.
Al Merreikh had been due to face Etoile du Sahel in Tunisia this evening, with a chance of making it to the knock out stages while the already eliminated Al Hilal were supposed to be hosting Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique.
As a result of the disqualifications Ferroviario Beira will join Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in progressing to the quarter-finals from Group A.
While in the Confederation Cup Al Hilal Obeid’s final group game against Zambia’s Zesco United on Sunday has also been cancelled.
Obeid had already qualified from Group C but now their opponents Zesco will play in the quarter-finals.
The winner of this weekend’s other Group C game on Sunday between Angola’s Recreativo do Libolo and Egypt’s Smouha will go through to the last eight.
Any margin win by Makepekepe tomorrow will catapult them to the summit of the Group B log and the development will see the Green Machine squaring off with Ferroviario da Beira in the quarter finals.
On January 22 this year, CAPS United hosted the Mozambican side in a friendly match at the National Sports Stadium and the visitors succumbed to a 2-0 defeat. Goals came from Abbas Amidu and Amon Kambanje.
The government of Zimbabwe through the foreign affairs ministry is fully behind Makepekepe as the Harare based side is flying the country’s flag high.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Algeria, Edwin George Mandaza accompanied the USM Alger staff to welcome
Makepekepe on their arrival, said the Green Machine should stay
“It promises to be a competitive match, but they can’t come all the
way from Zimbabwe just to lose. Personally, I don’t expect anything
other than a win for CAPS United,” said Mandaza.
“They have come a long way. In fact they don’t have an option, but to win this
match if they are to go to the quarter-finals.
“So we are trying our best to mobilise the Zimbabwean community
resident here to support the team because we expect a huge crowd
for the hosts.
“There are three big teams in this city and what
these guys do is that when one of the teams is representing the
nation they come together and put aside their different
“CAPS United also should brace for the hot temperatures. We are
currently at the height of summer here so temperatures usually
range between 35 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.
“It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Also the humidity is
taxing. That is why the match has to kick off late. They cannot play
it any other time.’’