Pasuwa’s reaction to CAF Champions League draw


FCB Nyasa Big Bullets head coach Kalisto Pasuwa has provided his thoughts on the 2024/25 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League draw.

The People’s Team discovered their opponents in the opening stage of the continental club champions competition on Thursday afternoon following a draw in Cairo, Egypt.

Bullets will face the champions of Zambia, Red Arrows, in the first preliminary round matches to be played next month.

The Malawi champions will host the Airmen in the first leg at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe on the weekend of 16-18 August before travelling to Lusaka for the return match the following weekend.

The winner between the two neighbouring domestic league winners will proceed to the second preliminary round slated for September and will face the Democratic Republic of Congo champions TP Mazembe, who booted us out of the competition in the same stage last season.

“A draw where we were expecting anything. Remember, we are a non-ranked team so we were expecting any team. We are meeting Red Arrows from Zambia. These are also teams which are good and we can’t underrate any team because this is the Champions League.

“We have been playing Champions League and I think we have learnt a lot of lessons where we need to solve those problems first because if we don’t solve them, we will end up doing the same issues and if you can see the route that we are going, it is the same route that we took last time where we played a team from Equatorial Guinea [Dragon FC] then TP Mazembe [from DRC].

“If we manage to go past Red Arrows, we will go against TP Mazembe, so, we need to prepare well for us to do good. Any small mistake that you make in the Champions League, you are punished and if you saw our last game in this competition [against TP Mazembe], we conceded [four goals away] inside the first 20 minutes and after conceding, the boys played excellent football.

“We need to work on these areas to say what is it that makes us lose concentration in the early stages of the game, but these are mind games that we also need to be very careful with and at this level, no mistakes,” Pasuwa told club media.

Commenting if starting at home will be an advantage to his charges, the tactician said: “We just need to be ready for these games. Prepare ourselves to play away or at home. Yes, we would have loved to firstly start away from home and then play the second leg at home but again that’s how the draw is, we just need to prepare and avoid mistakes so that we go past these teams.”

About Red Arrows

Our opponents won the 2023/24 Zambian Premier League with 71 points. This was their third domestic league title, having won it in 2002 and 2022.

Red Arrows also won the Zambian Cup in 2007, and the Zambian Challenge Cup in 1982 where they finished as runners-up in 1978 and 1989.

The Zambia Air Force-sponsored side also won the Zambian Charity Shield in 2005 and 2022.

This will be their third CAF Champions League appearance. In 2005, they were eliminated from Africa’s biggest club knockout competition in the second preliminary round and their second attempt was in the 2021/2022 season, exiting in the first preliminary round.

They have also played in the Confederations Cup. In 2005 they were eliminated from the competition in the Round of 16, while in the 2012 edition, they bowed out in the preliminary round.

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