CAF Confederation Cup: Bandari Feel They Can Pass Guerdane Test
Bandari FC’s continental aspirations will be put to a tough test on Saturday when they confront Tunisian side US Ben Guerdane in their CAF Confederation Cup first round, second leg match.
Bandari FC’s continental aspirations will be put to a tough test on Saturday when they confront Tunisian side US Ben Guerdane in their CAF Confederation Cup first round, first leg match.
The Dockers are set to host Guerdane at the Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi with kick-off time at 1500hrs.
Bandari touched down in Nairobi on Tuesday from their base in Mombasa and trained at Jamhuri High School grounds a day later.
Experienced coach Bernard Mwalala understands the enormity of tackling an opponent from Tunisia as he knows that Kenyan clubs struggle on the continental level against teams from North Africa.
But despite the discouraging statistics, Mwalala is optimistic of his side’s chances against Guerdane.
“I have analysed Guerdane and it will not be an easy tie. They are a very technical and tactical side with good ball-playing players. We cannot afford to give them space to play. We have to shut the spaces and play at a good tempo,” Mwalala said.
“We are starting at home and one lesson I have picked all along is that a result at home is really important. If we can win here and keep a clean sheet, we have a squad capable to finish the job away from home,” the coach further states.
Mwalala will bank on Congolese Yema Mwana, alongside William Wadri and David King’atua to lead the attack.
Burundi International Justin Ndikumana is the likely candidate in goal, and will be relied on to stop anticipated continuous assaults from Guerdane forwards Khaled Yahia and Chilab Zoghlami.
Experienced duo Shaban Kenga and Felly Mulumba will have the responsibility of marshalling the midfield and defence respectively.
Guardane, who are currently under the tutelage of former Tunisia international Chokri Khatoui, are participating for the first time in the continental competition after finishing fourth last season, as Tunisia is guaranteed four slots in the continentals; two in CAF Champions League and two in Confederation Cup.
To earn the first-round ticket against Bandari, Guerdane knocked out Amarat United of South Sudan with an aggregate of 5-1, all goals coming from the first leg at home.
Bandari meanwhile, secured passage to this stage of the competition after eliminating Al Ahly Shendi of Sudan on an away goal advantage in the preliminary round following a 1-1 draw in Sudan after a scoreless draw in Nairobi.
The overall winner between Bandari and Guardane will qualify for the playoff match where they will tackle teams set to be dropped from Champions League.