ZESCO United coach George Lwandamina says the familiarity of players from TP Mazembe and his side could be the reason why his side struggled to snatch victory in Congo DR.

On Sunday, the Ndola-based outfit suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of the Congolese side and five times African champions TP Mazembe in the first leg tie of the CAF Champions League second round fixture played in Lubumbashi.

“We are familiar rivals because we are big clubs in our respective countries. We are both league champions. We also have a good number of Zambian players in that squad maybe it is the reason our encounters are always filled with intense action,” he said.

And Lwandamina noted the need to tighten his defence and sharpen the attack in the return fixture which will be played on 23 December at Levy Mwanawasa stadium.

“They played really well and with discipline. They defended quite well but I still need to fine-tune the defence and attack more fiercely. Otherwise we also created chances like them but could not just score,” he said.

“If we win the home game with better aggregate, it would be better as we would proceed to the next stage in the competition. It won’t happen easily so we have to work harder,” said Lwandamina.

The winner from both legs will proceed to the next group stage of the CAF Champions League while the loser will be relegated to the CAF Confederations Cup pre-group stage that kicks off in January, 2019.