Limpopo heat worries Vasco coach

NATIONAL First Division (NFD) championship contenders Vasco da Gama coach Carlos Das Neves is worried about high temperatures in Limpopo ahead of their automatic playoff match.

NATIONAL First Division (NFD) championship contenders Vasco da Gama coach Carlos Das Neves is worried about high temperatures in Limpopo ahead of their automatic playoff match.

Da Gama, the Coastal Stream champions, will play Inland Stream winners Black Leopards in the two-legged finals that will decide one of the teams to be promoted to the Premiership. The first leg is scheduled for Tshifulanani Stadium in Thohoyandou on February 27 or March 7. The draw will be held tonight. Das Neves conceded yesterday that it would be difficult for them to play in temperatures that could be close to 40°C in the Far North.

"It is impossible to plan for such temperatures. We will surely struggle in such heat considering that we are from cool temperatures in Cape Town. Our wish is for the match to be played later in the day than the scheduled 3.30pm kickoff," Das Neves said.

"Such temperatures are also dangerous to the players because they can become dehydrated. We will do our level best, though, so that we don't lose, for us to complete the job nicely at home in the return leg."

His counterpart at Leopards, Vladislav Heric, has no such worries about the trip to the Mother City.

"We will go there two days in advance to ensure that the boys adjust to the weather out there. One advantage is that we know something about them and we will be able to strategise well. It will not be easy for us in Thohoyandou and in Cape Town because Da Gama are not an ordinary team. But I'm convinced we have what it takes to do well in the playoffs.

"We have to return to the top flight considering that Limpopo does not a have a Premiership team," Heric said yesterday.

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