TS Galaxy’s fairytale run in the Total CAF Confederation Cup will continue on Saturday when they face Malagasy side CNaPS in the second leg of the Round of 16 in Antananarivo.
The lead that Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela’s side enjoy in the tie came courtesy of Sanele Burns in Mbombela during the first leg a fortnight ago.
For Malesela, who is a former coach of Chippa United in the South African top flight, coaching Galaxy has been an experience that he cannot trade for anything. Even though the Mpumalanga based team is still campaigning in the second-tier of South African football (which is the South African National First Division), Galaxy are still punching above their weight, and are eyeing a place in the play-offs of the CAF Confederation Cup, which is the final hurdle before the group stages.
But Malesela is aware that the next stage will be tougher, as only the best will be left.
“We have the belief that we can go through. We did well in the first leg to win the match. With the experience that my team is getting, we are starting to value the importance of playing really well away,” Malesela said.
“Our focus is now on the second leg, not whether we can make the play-offs or the group stages. I would prefer we take care of our current situation before we think too far ahead,” the TS Galaxy coach said.
Galaxy will also be buoyed by their 1-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in the South African second-tier league at the weekend.
The South African outfit reached this stage having won both legs of the preliminary round 1-0 against Saint Louis of the Seychelles in the first round, taking the tie 2-0 on aggregate.
Pitso Mosimane factor
Malesela has said that should the competition get too difficult, he will solicit the help of Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, who Malesela once served under as assistant.
“I told Pitso [Mosimane, Sundowns’ coach] that I’ll talk to him as soon as I get frustrated. It’s only healthy to do that.
“We actually asked the physical trainer at Sundowns [Kabelo Rangoaga] how they do it because of the long travelling hours and being able to recover,” Malesela said.