Jwaneng hunting Ugandan Vipers
Reigning local champions, Jwaneng Galaxy will be praying for victory in Lobatse on Sunday as they launch their latest assault on Africa with a tough CAF Champions League assignment against Ugandan powerhouse, Vipers FC.
The mining giant’s will need to dig deep to defang a Vipers side that boasts a wealth of continental experience and made it all the way to the group stages of last year’s competition.
There is potentially rich reward on offer for the victors of the two-legged preliminary game, with Orlando Pirates the likely opponents in the next round – providing the Soweto favourites get past Comoros’ Djabal FC as expected.
The Galaxy Stars go into the weekend clash in sparkling form, winning the Mangaung Cup challenge in Bloemfontein, where they overcame local second division sides, D’General FC and Mangaung United.
Vipers, however, represent a much tougher proposition for Morena Ramoreboli’s troops.
With his sights set on reaching the group stages with Galaxy for the second time – a feat he managed back in 2022 – the South African has been busy in the off season, assembling a formidable looking squad.
The best in Botswana, who won last season’s Premier League at a canter, finishing eight points clear of Gaborone United, have added: goal machine, Omaatla Kebatho, Zebras number one, Goitseone Phoko and Namibian captain, Dynamo Fredrick to their ranks.
“We tried to balance it in such a way that all positions are covered. The demands for this kind of competition are high and we need a quality, active squad. Our preparations have been going well and through the friendly games we tried winning combinations and the boys have started to gel,” said Ramoreboli, whose team are up against a Vipers outfit that, like Galaxy, count Miguel Da Costa as a former coach.
“Vipers are a stubborn side but I have done thorough research and know their style of play!”
The wily tactician told Voice Sport they will be looking to strike at least twice on Sunday as they seek a healthy advantage ahead of the return leg in Kampala.
To do so, they will have to breach a Vipers defence that conceded just 13 times in 28 league outings to claim the Uganda Premier League last season, beating KCCA to the title on goal difference.