Kalisto Pasuwa believes the CAF Champions League first preliminary round is far from over despite FCB Nyasa Big Bullets taking a 2-0 first-leg advantage over Equatorial Guinea’s Dragon FC on Sunday.
The People’s Team registered an away victory at Estadio de Malabo courtesy of a first-half brace from Maxwell Phodo to go into the second leg at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe next Sunday with a massive lead.
But in his post-match interview, the head coach said Bullets should not relax going into the home tie in Malawi, underlining that the second leg is open to any of the two opponents.
“It’s not a game that we can say we should relax to say we are through to the next round. We need to do more for us to sail through to the next stage,” he told Bullets Media in Malabo.
Analyzing the game against the Equatorial Guinea champions, Pasuwa, who picked a starting XI that looked more defensive than the usual attacking Bullets, commented:
“In most cases, we were very solid in terms of how we were defending. We just wanted to see if they could build up from the back and come to us. We didn’t want to just open up without observing how they were playing, so I advised the boys not to open up before studying how the opposition was playing.
“Well done to the boys. They did very well. From the onset, we looked for an early goal, and we got it. It was a good start to the game for the boys. We attacked and got the second goal, which was a plus for us,” he explained.
The gaffer also congratulated Phodo for finding his scoring boots, saying he always knew that he was a boy who could deliver on a big stage.
“[Phodo is] one boy whom I have been trusting. Yes, he has been having pressure not scoring [in domestic games], but these are the players who can lead the attack when we play international games.
“He is one boy who can hold on to the ball, has pace and it was just very unfortunate that each time he scores [back in Malawi], the goals were ruled out for offside, but I am happy that he scored a brace today and we need to encourage him to get the best out of him.”
On the opposition, Pasuwa said: “[They were a] very attacking-minded team in the final half, but they were not offensive in the first half where we caught them in transition. They also have big bodies, but they struggled against my boys because we were very quick in everything.”
Bullets are expected to arrive in Malawi on Tuesday afternoon, before proceeding to Lilongwe for the second-leg tie.
Defending the two-goal cushion or another victory at the Bingu National Stadium on Sunday will see us booking a place in the second preliminary round to face TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.