07 April 2018 03:05
Mumamba Numba has warned that Zanaco are not scared of three-time African champions Raja Club Athletic whom they host this weekend in the first leg of the 2nd 1/16th round.
The Zambian club hosts their Moroccan opponents on April 7 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Saturday's game comes three weeks after Mbabane Swallows beat Zanaco 2-1 at home in Lusaka and 1-0 away in Swaziland to dump latter out of the 2018 Total Champions League.
And now, Zanaco have been handed one more shot at qualifying for continental group stage competition this season when they face a side of higher pedigree in the form of Raja.
“If you look in the recent past, Zambian teams are doing better against North African teams. It is just a matter of planning well, we have the players that can withstand Raja Casablanca,” Numba said.
“We do not fear North African teams anymore; what is important for us is to apply ourselves positively on the pitch and we must play well.
“We played better team’s last year in the name of Al Ahly and Wydad Athletic Club.”
In the 2017 CAF Champions League group stage, Zanaco beat Raja's city rivals, Wydad 1-0 in Lusaka and also drew 0-0 at home with Al Ahly after earlier holding the record -eight time African champions in their opening Group D tie to a 0-0 draw away in Egypt.
“I think Raja are equally a strong side but we have a good team and I believe we can withstand them," Numba said.
“We just have to work hard and win Saturday’s game so that we should reduce the pressure on our part heading into the final leg."
Zanaco should be at full strength led by striker Martin Phiri who arrives in the competition with three goals in the 2018 TOTAL CAF Champions League.
Numba will also be banking on the likes of goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata, winger Ernest Mbewe and captain Ziyo Tembo to inspire them in the home leg.
Meanwhile, Raja and Zanaco will meet in the final leg decider in a mid week fixture on April 17 in Casablanca.
Friday, 6 April 2018
Bidvest (South Africa) vs Enyimba (Nigeria)
CF Mounana (Gabon) vs El Masry (Egypt)
Rayon Sports (Rwanda) vs Costa do Sol (Mozambique)
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Zanaco (Zambia) vs Raja Club Athletic (Morocco)
AS Vita (DR Congo) vs CS la Mancha (Congo)
Saint George (Ethiopia) vs CARA (Congo)
UD Songo (Mozambique) vs Hilal Obeid (Sudan)
Plateau United (Nigeria) vs USM Alger (Algeria)
Young Africans (Tanzania) vs Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia)
Generation Foot (Senegal) vs RS Berkane (Morocco)
Williamsville (Cote d’Ivoire) vs Niefang (Equatorial Guinea)
Sunday, 8 April 2018
El Hilal (Sudan) vs Akwa United (Nigeria)
Gor Mahia (Kenya) vs Supersport (South Africa)
Aduana (Ghana) vs Fosa Juniors (Madagascar)
ASEC Mimosas (Cote d’Ivoire) vs CR Belouizdad (Algeria)
MFM (Nigeria) vs Djoliba (Mali)