We are here to attack – Ben McCarthy justifies Mzava’s omission


Amazulu FC Coach Ben McCarthy says he left Flames Captain Limbikani Mzava for the second leg CAF Champions League match against Nyasa Big Bullets on Saturday because he wanted an attacking minded team to overturn the 1-0 deficit suffered in the first leg at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Usuthu, who arrived in the country on Thursday ahead of the return leg, left behind Mzava by picking three other Central Defenders because he is in Malawi to ‘attack’ and not to ‘defend’.

Amazulu during a training session at Bingu Stadium

Responding to a question as to why Mzava didn’t travel with the team to Malawi, the tough spoken ‘Benny’ said:

“I think it was just a selection issue. He played twice for Malawi during the international break and on Tuesday, he also played for us against Supersport United and considering that we are here to chase the game after losing the first leg, I have gone more for offensive so that we score and possibly win the game.”

“We have traveled with three centre backs out of the seven and we need to win this match at all cost. We haven’t come here to defend so it’s very unfortunate that Mzava is not part of this squad but a decision had to be made to travel with more attackers than defenders hence coming here with five strikers and so many attacking midfielders in order to play our attacking football. Our intention is to progress to the next level of this competition so yes, we are not sitting back, once we score, we will attack for more goals,” he told reporters soon after his team’s training session at Bingu National Stadium on Friday.

The former Bafana Bafana, Porto, Blackburn Rovers and Orlando Pirates forward was quick to admit that it will not be easy for his side to overturn the deficit but he was very optimistic of a result despite playing away from home.

“I am a bit nervous because obviously when you are away from home it’s always very difficult to overturn the first leg result but if they managed to do it at our home, we can also do it at their backyard.

“We won’t take them for granted because they are a very good team and very organized and kudos to their coach for building such a very good team which has a good defence and very difficult to break. For us to win, we need to score goals. We created so many chances at home but we lacked the cutting age hence the defeat and the best way to respond is to find our scoring boots again if we want to continue our journey in the Champions League,” he added.

Earlier on, Bullets had their final session ahead of the crucial match in which head coach Kalisto Pasuwa made it clear that his charges are ready for the second match.

Pasuwa (carrying balls) leading training yesterday

“Very well prepared for the game though we had four players who had knocks but did a late fitness test on them and they are looking good ready for the second match.”

“This is the second leg after playing them in South Africa last week and I have told the boys to do more in order for us to come with a result. When we played at their backyard, we played a counter attacking football especially in the first half before the red card which saw them dominating because they were playing with one man advantage but on Saturday’s match, we are playing at home and we need to country them and create spaces so that we go forward and score goals,” he said.

He, however, warned his charges to anticipate a very attacking minded team which will come flat out in search of a goal to put the match on level.

“We know for a reason they will come hard on us in the early minutes of the game in order to put the match on level and we need to manage our lead so that we avoid a defeat at our venue and progress to the second stage of the competition,” he concluded.

The match will kick off at 15:00 hours CAT. The winner will progress to the second round where they will face DRC’s TP Mazembe.