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Galaxy GU fired up

14 Sep 2023

After overcoming the Confederation of African Football (CAF) preliminary stage hurdles, Jwaneng Galaxy and Gaborone United (GU) will this weekend face South African opponents, with the hope of ultimately making the group stages.

Jwaneng Galaxy will meet Orlando Pirates in the CAF Champions League at the National Stadium on Saturday while still at the same venue, GU will face Superport United in the CAF Confederations Cup on Sunday.

Galaxy are in the second round after eliminating Vipers SC of Uganda 3-2 on aggregate, while GU also saw off Malagasy side, Elgeco 3-2 with a similar aggregate.

Galaxy and Pirates last met in 2021 in the preliminary round of the CAF Confederations Cup where Pirates won 4-0 on aggregate. This was after Galaxy received a heavy 0-3 loss at home.

However, this time Galaxy meet Pirates, a more experienced team, motivated to make a back-to-back CAF Champions League group stage appearance.

Some football pundits however, predict that Galaxy will have to put in more effort to overcome the Soweto giants, looking at the fact that the local league has not yet started while Pirates have been more active in the league.

While Galaxy will be looking to make only its second appearance in the group stages in their young life, Pirates on the other hand have been into the group stages six times before, making them more experienced.

In an interview, Galaxy spokesperson, Tankiso Morake said they were glad to have been paired against Pirates, which many consider one of the African giants.

“As Galaxy, we have a long-term mission of being the best team in Africa and we can only achieve that by competing against the best teams, hence our delight at welcoming Pirates although we appreciate their history in the competition.

We learnt from our last group stage how to approach African competitions,” he said.

Morake said the fact that they went into the CAF games by virtue of being league champions meant that they were equally capable as any other team at this stage of the competition, and that the target this year was nothing less than the group stages.

Considering the fact that Pirates has better match fitness, Morake said that might actually work for Galaxy as Pirates might come in fatigued.  Meanwhile GU communications and marketing officer, Herbert Letsebe also said they were determined to make the group stages of CAF competition for the first time, and that they would go all out to achieve their objective. 

“We have always been knocked out earlier, but this time we are determined to go all the way.

 Our players are determined and have vowed to give their all, so we urge our supporters and Batswana at large to come in large numbers to support us tomorrow,” he said.  Letsebe said they were not intimidated by the South African side, which always seem to be the case whenever local sides meet their neighbours, whether at national or club level.

“We respect them as a team. Our aim is to win the first leg with a convincing margin so as to cushion the pressure on the second leg away. This would help us manage the second leg better,” he said. 

Letsebe said all their players, including new ones were available except the Namibian defender, Kennedy Amutenya who was red-carded in the second leg of the preliminary stage away to Elgeco in Madagascar. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Olekantse Sennamose

Location : GABORONE


Date : 14 Sep 2023