McCarthy planning to ambush Mazembe in their back yard in Champions League tie
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy believes that his side can follow in Mamelodi Sundowns' footsteps and become the second South African team to beat Congolese club TP Mazembe in their own back yard when they meet in an away Caf Champions League match this week.
Sundowns were the first team to beat Mazembe at home when they won 2-1 in a Champions League group tie last year. Before Sundowns arrived in town to shake up the status quo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mazembe had played 74 matches in Caf competitions and never tasted defeat on their artificial pitch in Lubumbashi.
“We’re now going to DRC to face Mazembe and we don’t want to lose that match because we want to see ourselves in the group stages of the competition,” McCarthy said.
“It’s the Caf Champions League and we’re one match away from qualifying for the group stages for the first time in the club’s history.
“I’m excited and also nervous at the same time because we know they [Mazembe] have won the Champions League five times [in the past]. They have got a great pedigree [on the continent], but we can go there confident because we didn’t disappoint ourselves against them in the first leg [the two sides played to a goalless draw in the first leg of the second preliminary round in Durban on Friday].
“We have a chance. We have a chance to go and do something magical. Something that’s been never been done at AmaZulu before. We’re very excited about the match.”
Usuthu are making their first appearance in the Champions League after finishing second in the DStv Premiership last season and they travel to Lubumbashi on Thursday with the strong belief that their run in the continental competition is not about to end anytime soon.
McCarthy will have been encouraged after watching his charges register their second win in the domestic league following a 1-0 away victory against TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday.
Luvuyo Memela gave Usuthu victory with his solitary strike against Galaxy on Tuesday, but it is striker Bongi Ntuli who came on as a substitute and combined very well with Tercious Malepe to set up the lone strike.
The AmaZulu coach has now turned his attention to Saturday’s match at the Stade TP Mazembe, where any scoring draw will take his side to the group stages.
McCarthy will hope for more of the same from Ntuli and give Mazembe a lot to ponder on Saturday.
Ntuli scored a brace away to Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi to help the Durban side win 3-2 on aggregate in their first preliminary round. Usuthu had to dig deep to win the game after losing the first leg 0-1 in Durban.