Yanga upbeat despite home draw


MAINLAND’S CAF Champions League envoys, Young Africans believe they will perform wonders in Zambia in their return leg match on March 18 after being held to 1-1 draw at home by Zanaco.

The draw at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam means Young Africans face a Herculean task in the return leg against the Zambian Super league champions Zanaco.

But Yanga assistant coach, Juma Mwambusi remained upbeat, saying the game is still on its half way and promised to improve in the return leg at Nkoloma Stadium next weekend.

“The game is just still on, it is half way... we can still go and win away in Lusaka”, Mwambusi told reporters in post-match press conference.

He, however, admitted that Yanga did not play at their best on Saturday and promised to work on several weaknesses to improve the team’s performance in the return leg. The team’s skipper, Nadir Haroub, was also hopeful of spirited show in the return match and believes Yanga will make it to the group stage of the premium club championship.

“We still have a chance to go through, we leave it to the technical bench to work out on shortcomings and surely, we will improve in the return leg,” he noted. Haroub, however, admitted that Zanaco is a tough team. “We respect Zanaco as big team.

They came to attack and they succeeded with their game plan,” he said. Simon Msuva, the scorer of the Yanga’s goal, also remained upbeat, saying they can still go through by winning away. “I believe we can make it through into the group stage by winning away.

We didn’t play our usual attacking game but that does not mean we are already out of the tournament,” he said. On his side, Zanaco skipper Ziyo Tembo apparently suggested the game is still in the balance. “It was a tough game, Yanga is a good team... there is no way we will underrate them in the return leg.

We were rushing a bit in the first half, we could not keep our composure and could not take chances we created. We calmed nerves down in the second half and scored an important away goal. He lavished praises on Yanga’s wing wizard Msuva, noting he was the most dangerous man on the pitch.

“He really gave us difficult time throughout the match,” he said. Commenting on the game, Zanaco head coach Mumba Mumamba rued his team’s profligacy, saying they created and wasted a lot of chances. “Coming to the match, it was a 50-50 affair because both teams played very well. We conceded that goal due to a lapse in concentration towards the end of the first half,” Mumba said.

“We should have done better especially with the chances that we created, but now we know our opponents well and hopefully we will improve in the return leg,” he added. The Zanaco trainer also thanked their hosts Yanga for good hospitality.

“I would like to thank Yanga for the warm hospitality which they accorded us since we arrived in Tanzania.” Ayoub Lyanga, a Tanzanian player featuring for Zanaco, also admitted a return leg against Yanga would be very tough.

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