Bantu FC coach James Madidilane says his team’s underdog status won’t stop them from believing that they can pull off an upset against Rangers International of Enugu and create “history in Lesotho football” by qualifying for the group stages of the 2019 CAF Confederation Cup (CCC) for the first time.
Bantu are at home to the seasoned continental campaigners from Nigeria in the first leg of 2019 CAF Confederation Cup (CCC) at the 7,000 capacity Leshoboro Seeiso Sports Complex, Mafeteng, on Sunday in what is their first ever appearance in the Confederation Cup and even though the Nigerian side are the bookmakers favourites, Madidilane believes being considered underdogs against The Flying Antelopes, can work in his team’s favour.
“We are aware [that many people regard us as the underdogs],” the former South Africa international told busybuddiesng.com, “and we are not scared of Rangers but we respect them like we respected other teams like [Township] Rollers and [AS] Vita, so we have a good team which can win the match if they minimise the mistakes and convert our chance so it’s good that we [are]
Having led Bantu to back to back league titles in his two seasons at the club, the 32-year-old Madidilane now has his sights on achieving what no other club side from Lesotho has done – qualify for the group stage of a CAF club competition.
The Mafeteng-based club had fallen at the first hurdle in two previous outings on the continent in the CAF Champions League (CCL) in 2015 and 2018 but
That loss meant they were parachuted into CAF’s second-tier competition where they have a second chance of making the group stages of a continental competition for the first time in their 92-year history.
They would require an excellent result at home against Rangers – who incidentally fell to Southern African team ZESCO United in the in 2017 playoff round – to stand a chance of progressing to the group stages and Madidilane believes his side are capable of the feat which he says would transform football in the Mountain Kingdom.
“It would mean a lot to our team as Bantu Football club and also for the Lesotho nation to see a club from Lesotho going through to the group stages of the CCC because it has never happened in many years,” the former Bloemfontein Celtics defender told busybuddiesng.com.
“So we as Bantu have got the chance to write history in Lesotho football. It’s not going to be easy but we have organised and we have worked in a way that we get the positive result out of this encounter.”