African Stars hope to outshine Pirates in CAF Champions League
After their shock goalless draw African Stars coach Bobby Samaria believes his charges can produce another result on the artificial surface in Windhoek
African Stars coach Bobby Samaria had just one week to prepare his Namibian outfit for their CAF Champions League encounter against Orlando Pirates and now fancies the upstarts’ chances ahead of the second meeting between the two sides on Saturday.
Stars host Pirates at Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday and after holding Milutin Sredojevic’s charges to a shock goalless draw at Orlando Stadium last week‚ Samaria believes that his charges could produce another result on the artificial surface in Windhoek.
Asked if he expects transitional football from Pirates in the second leg‚ Samaria said he would be ready for whatever their more illustrious visitors throw at them.
“If they come with transitional football‚ let it be. It’s a game of football‚ they will come with their plan and we will come with ours.
“I believe it will be a very tactical game in Windhoek because Pirates have a lot to lose.”
Samarai was reappointed Stars coach after the sacking of former Kaizer Chiefs player Robert Nauseb at the beginning of last week just days before the Pirates encounter.
Nauseb was fired following a 5-1 Stars’ trashing by their archrivals Black Stars.
“All this happened in a very short period of time. The next big thing that happened is that the players were confronted with the presence of the new old coach‚” said Samaria.
“So I was received with mixed feelings but we had a team meeting and we put that to bed. This [Saturday’s match] was my very first game with my old team so we are starting to build the new and our energy is good.
“It ’s good to be an underdog because it gives you a chance to give your opponents the shock of their lives‚” he said.
● Khama Billiat will miss Kaizer Chiefs’ Caf Confederation Cup clash against Elgeco Plus FC on Saturday after he was ruled out with a muscle injury on Wednesday.
Chiefs travel to Madagascar on Friday and the club’s spokesperson Vina Maphosa confirmed that the influential player would definitely not make an appearance at the Stade d’Analamanga.
Billiat‚ who has been in brilliant form for Amakhosi this season‚ suffered the injury during their 3-0 win over Elgeco Plus in the first leg at Moses Mabhida Stadium last weekend, where Philani Zulu scored the opener and Leonardo Castro netted a brace late in the game.
The Zimbabwean is not the only Chiefs player in the treatment room and has been joined by Ramahlwe Mphahlele (knee)‚ Eric Mathoho (ankle)‚ Ryan Moon (eye) and Zulu (face fracture).
“Billiat is out for two weeks and has been ruled out for this match against Elgeco Plus‚” Maphosa said.
But coach Ernst Middendorp has some good news as defender Mario Booysen has been cleared to play in the Indian Ocean Island as Chiefs continue their quest for a place in the group stages.
Dumisani Zuma is one of the options that Middendorp could turn to when he attempts to fill the huge void created by Billiat’s absence. Zuma could join the attacking department that includes Andriamirado “Dax”
Andrianarimanana‚ Lebogang Manyama with Willard Katsande covering for them as the destroyer.