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CAPS BRACE FOR MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES

CAPS United full-back Ronald Pfumbidzai (pictured) has described their final Group B clash against USM Alger in Algeria on Sunday as the “mother of all battles” they have fought in their inexorable march to greatness in African football this term.

BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

The Zimbabwe champions have stunned watchers of the African game with their fairytale run in the premier club competition, in which they have defied odds to overpower heavyweights TP Mazembe and Zamalek, who have won 10 championships between them in the continent.

On third place with six points, two behind leaders Al-Ahli Tripoli and USM Alger, Lloyd Chitembwe’s men now need to win the Sunday match by any margin to progress to their first ever quarter-final appearance in the tournament where they are guaranteed a huge $650 000 pay cheque.

And, the roving Caps United left-back, who has contributed three goals in the team’s last three matches in Group B, on Wednesday said their eyes were firmly fixed on crossing the line that will usher them into the last eight of the prestigious African Champions League for the first time in their history.

Pfumbidzai described the Sunday match as a life-changing game they were approaching with hunger to prevail.

“It (the Sunday match) is perhaps our biggest match in the campaign so far. It’s a massive game, a must-win for us. We are a team and will fight for each other to win this one. We can’t afford even a draw. Every team has its own game plan and as for us, we will play our normal game with the ultimate objective of securing all points,” Pfumbidzai said.

Caps United left for Algiers yesterday afternoon via Ethiopia, where they were expected to connect to Rome, Italy, before flying to Algiers where they are due to arrive this morning.

The Zimbabwean champions beat USM Alger 2-1 in the reverse fixture in Harare, but they have been so poor on the road where they are still to register a win in the campaign.

Should they overcome USM Alger, it will be the first time for them to win an away match in this campaign.

Caps United go into the match with their confidence high, after overcoming Zamalek 3-1 at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday to claim third spot on the Group B standings with six points, while the Egyptian giants dropped to the foot of the table, still on five points.

USM Alger and Al Ahli Tripoli remained tied on eight points after sharing the spoils in their encounter last Saturday.

Caps United will still be without veteran striker Leonard Tsipa, who is yet to recover from injury, while goalkeeper Edmore “Zikeeper” Sibanda, who missed the Sunday clash against Zamalek also due to injury, was expected to pass a late fitness test and make the trip, with reports suggesting he would be fit to play on Sunday.

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