TP Mazembe French Coach Diego Garzitto admits that his side needs to double their effort if they are to reach the 1/8th of this year’s Orange Champions league.
The African reigning champions were stunned with a 1-0 away defeat against Rwanda’s football giants APR and Garzitto now knows that any slight mistake could dump them out of the lucrative competition.
“We need to be more clinical in the second leg. We are now on the back foot and need to take the game to APR.”
“I knew that APR were not going to be push-overs after learning that they had ejected Angola’s Recreativo do Libolo in the first qualifying round,” he conceded in a post match interview.
After both sides squandering scoring chances, Albert Ngabo came from the bench to score a later winner for APR, who are chasing for a maiden appearance at the group stages of the competition.
After a few nervous touches, the versatile defender, who had come on for the injured Abbas Rassou at the beginning of the second half, overlapped from his right back position, dribbled past Hichani Himonde and Jean Kasusule before sending a powerful strike past Mazembe’s goalie Robert Kidiaba.
Although Mazembe’s star player Tresor Mputu had an ordinary game by his standards, he still showed glimpses of his flair, which recently won him the 2009 local Caf African player of the year.
The thrilling encounter was played in front of APR’s patron Gen. James Kabarebe and his TP Mazembe colleague Moise Katumbi, who also doubles as the governor of the mineral-rich Katanga Province.
The return leg will be played on the weekend of April 3-4 in Lumumbashi.