TP Mazembe leads a delicately balanced duel 1-0 against Esperance, as the two sides travel to North Africa for the return tie of the African Football League (AFL) quarter final duel.
Cheick Fofana’s early first half goal gave the Ravens the slight edge over Taraji and they will need to avoid defeat away from home to book a historic place in the last four.
Head coach Lamine N’Diaye believes they have a good chance to see off the tie away from home, and wants his team to approach the game like they are still on level terms.
“It will be difficult definitely but we will forget this score and start afresh. We will only be focused on getting a good score from that game and do the best to qualify for the semi-final. We have shown our capabilities and I believe we can do better,” the tactician said.
For Esperance’s Tarek Thabet, playing at home will give them an extra advantage, and he says they will analyze the first leg match and try work on the areas that were insufficient.
“Playing at home gives us a slight advantage, but it will not be easy. We need to improve in our scoring because that is the only way we will progress,” Thabet said.
The tactician rued the missed chances his side had in the first leg in Dar es Salaam, noting that it was his biggest point of concern.
“We dominated the first half very well and were unlucky to concede. But we had three or four situations which we should have scored. We lost the game but we have a second chance and I hope we can make our opportunities count,” the coach added.
Mazembe’s N’Diaye has also admitted they didn’t start the match well, but he points this out as one of the things his side needs to do better heading to Tunisia.
“We didn’t start the game very well and in the beginning it was a bit difficult. But we managed to settle down and the goal we scored really helped us a lot. We pushed hard and maybe in one or two instances we should have scored more but we have everything to work for heading away from home,” noted the Senegalese coach.
He has also paid glowing tribute to Tanzanian fans for showing up in massive numbers to give them support, stating that they didn’t feel away from Lubumbashi with the noise and the push brought off by the 12th man at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.