9 March 2017
NGEZI Platinum striker Kelvin Bulaji says he is banking on his teammates to upset Clube Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo in his absence.
The striker, who was injured during the club’s last CAF Confederation Cup game, was left behind by Ngezi Platinum for the Angolan trip in the first round, first leg tie.
At Estádio Municipal de Calulo, coach Tonderai Ndiraya is likely to use Maclive Phiri or Washington Pakamisa as the target man in the absence of the former CAPS United and Dynamos striker.
Bulaji admitted that he feels hurt missing out on the game but trusted his teammates to do the job.
“It is always very painful for a footballer when you get injured and have to be on the sidelines when others are playing. But I have to accept this is part of the game and hope for the best,” Bulaji said.
“I have the feeling that the guys will be able to come up with a good result. The most exciting thing is that we are working as a team. That team spirit and hard work is very important if we are to progress.”
While Bulaji will not be in Angola for the tie, midfielder Walter Mukanga has bounced back for this game after missing the last one.
The former DeMbare midfielder believes they will miss his fellow teammate.
“Obviously, everyone feels the absence of Bulaji. He was working very hard to try and help the team and its unfortunate injury has forced him out,” said Mukanga.
Ngezi Platinum received a major boost with the return of defender Patson Jaure and goalkeeper Nelson Chadya to full fitness.
“We are all happy they are back and fit for the game. It is very important for us.”
In Clube Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo, Ngezi Platinum faces a club with much experience and capable of getting a result at home.
With an average age of 29 for the whole squad, they have been playing together as a team for a while and have been one of the most successful teams in Angola in recent years.
“It is going to be a very tough match for us. But the most important things will be to try and play our normal game,” said Mukanga.