By Nigel Matongorere
CAPS United captain Hardlife Zvirekwi says the Green Machine will do their best to post a positive result against Zamalek in the Africa Champions League Group B match in Cairo, Egypt, tomorrow evening.
The match at Cairo International Stadium kicks off at 9pm local time.
Makepekepe left Harare yesterday afternoon via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and arrived in Cairo early this morning.
This is the first time United will be playing in this stage of the competition and they will have all to do against one of the biggest clubs on the continent.
The White Knights have won the African Champions League five times before and are always strong at home. Despite Zamalek’s illustrious history, Zvirekwi is confident the Green Machine will not be overawed by the occasion.
The Zimbabwean champions have already showed the rest of the continent that they are no pushovers after eliminating five-time champions TP Mazembe in the preliminary round.
“Obviously it’s another assignment for us and we are looking at the bigger picture of representing the country,” he told reporters shortly before CAPS’ departure at the Harare International Airport yesterday.
“We want to go out there and not disappoint the nation. We are prepared to go out there and fight.
“We would want the entire nation to support us as we embark on this journey. We really need their support and prayers. It’s the African safari; it’s not going to be easy and we have to go out there to show Zamalek what we are made of.
“Zamalek have got vast experience of playing in the Champions League, obviously we are going to respect them but we also want to make it in the competition.”
North African sides are notorious on the continent for their craftiness to win at all costs which is something Makepekepe are on the lookout for when they land in Cairo.
“This journey started last year so we cannot stop now because we want to go as far as the final of the competition,” Zvirekwi said.
“This is the opportunity to achieve. The coaches have prepared us mentally to be on the lookout for dirty tactics from when we arrive at the airport and even on the pitch.
“It’s not going to be easy but we are prepared mentally for that. We are going there to compete.”
The last time Zvirekwi was in Egypt was back in 2013, when he travelled with the Warriors for a 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Pharaohs.
A largely youthful Zimbabwe side narrowly lost 2-1 after Egypt were awarded a last minute penalty.
Zvirekwi feels Makepekepe need to play to the whistle and remain focussed for the entire match if they are to get the desired result.
“We learnt a lot from that trip as well. I think we will try to rectify our concentration levels to last until the 90 plus minutes,” he said.
“We have to concentrate from the first minute until the final whistle when the referee says it’s over.”
“We might be holding or winning against Zamalek until the 90th minute but if we lose concentration in added time they might find an equaliser or a winner in those 90 plus minutes.”
After returning from Egypt, CAPS will return home as they will start to prepare for their matches against USM Alger of Algeria and Al-Ahli Tripoli of Libya, the other two teams in Group B. Daily News