We will have to improve against Al Hilal, says Francis Haringingo

Mukura Victory Sports players celebrate after beating Hilal Obayed to reach the playoffs round at Huye Stadium a fortnight ago. Courtesy.

Jan. 11

Al Hilal    vs     Mukura

Francis Haringingo has challenged his Mukura players that they have plenty to improve when they face Sudanese side Al Hilal in a double-legged tie if the club is to reach the lucrative group stage of the 2018/2019 CAF Confederation Cup.

Mukura were drawn against Sudan’s most successful club in the playoffs round of the continental competition last Friday. The first-leg clash between the two sides is scheduled for January 11, at Al-Hilal Stadium in Khartoum.

Haringingo’s men reached the playoffs round – for a historic first time – after edging out another Sudanese side, Hilal Obayed, 5-4 in penalty shootouts following a goalless draw, in regular time.

“It is going to be difficult against Al Hilal, they are a fantastic team – with big history. There is a lot we have to improve if we are to reach the group stage, and that is absolutely what we want,” said Mukura’s Burundian tactician Haringingo.

“It’s about the spirit and belief that we can do it. We just have to remain focused, be patient and see how things go. But most importantly, we have to prepare well.”

This is the first time  the Huye-based outfit have progressed past the first round of the continent’s second biggest club competition since their 1982 debut.

“If we’re afraid, then why are we going there in the first place? We also have quality players who have shown capacity and quality of facing any team.”

The Peace Cup holders, are taking part in the continental showpiece for the first time in 18 years, since 2000 when they were knocked out from the first round by Ethiopian side Awassa City.

The Play-off round action will be played in January with the first leg slated for January 11-13 while the return leg will be staged between January 18-20.

The winners of the play-off round contest will advance to the lucrative group stage in February.