YOUNG Africans Head Coach, Mwinyi Zahera said luck played part on their Sunday victory against AFC Leopards saying they played without a game plan.
Yanga scored late to post a narrow 1-0 win courtesy of a powerful header from skipper Papy Tshishimbi at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha ahead of their important CAF Champions League (CAF CL), reverse clash against Township Rollers on Saturday in Gaborone, Botswana.
The country’s envoys will have to win at all cost to navigate into the next stage of the contest since a goalless draw will be harmful to them and advantage for the hosting side.
The first leg in Dar es Salaam ended 1-1 and it was Yanga who laboured to get the equa lizer in the dying minutes of the match.
However, giving his reaction after the game, Zahera repeatedly blamed the state of the pitch saying it did not give them any lesson prior to the Botswana mission.
“To be honest, today (Sunday) we played without any game plan simply because the pitch was not friendly to give us the rhythm we wanted to showcase ahead of facing Township Rollers,” Zahera said.
He added that the game they expect to play in Botswana is of national interest such that there was no need to do rehearsal in both Moshi and Arusha saying venues in both places were of poor qua lity hence could not showcase their football style.
“I told my players to avoid keeping the ball but instead they should play it upfront to whom it may concern since the arena was not perfect for smooth flow of the ball and by doing that, we avoid committing injuries,” he said.
Moreover, Zahera disclosed that due to the nature of the pitch, playing friendly games there is no bad thing but doing preparations while waiting to face a good team at a good venue is what made him to have many unanswered que stions.
“In Botswana, we will not play at a pitch like this one as such, we will be forced to do extra job to ensure that the boys get used with the good venue there,” he narrated.
Asked what lessons he learnt from the friendly game ahead of the forthcoming CAF CL tie, the coach simply replied, “I have learnt nothing.”
On his part, AFC Leopards Head Coach Andre Cassa Mbungo also attacked the pitch saying it denied them opportunity to display qua lity football due to its rough surface.
“You saw it yourself that the nature of the venue was not good and we failed to keep the ball the way we usually do,” the Rwandan said.
He then wished Yanga all the best in their upcoming away CAF CL match insisting that they have a great team capable to take the club further.
The clash against AFC Leopards was Yanga’s second friendly match in a row after suffering a 2-0 upset in their first build up match over Polisi Tanzania FC.
The visitors finished the match with one man down after V incent Oburu was given a second yellow card for his ‘unsportsmanship’ challenge on Tshishimbi in the 90th minute of the game.