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Yanga set target to reach CL group stage

YOUNG Africans Head Coach Mwinyi Zahera said come rainfall or sunshine, their number one priority is to reach into the CAF Champions League (CAF CL) group stage.

Yanga face Zambia's Zesco United on September 14th this year at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam for the CAF CL first round, first leg tie before confronting their opponents two weeks later (September 27- 29) in Lusaka, Zambia for a reverse clash.

Both legs will be decisive for the country's torchbearers, who desperately need nothing else than victory to make it into the competition's last 16.

The Jangwani Street based side had to wait for the away match against Botswana's Township Rollers to reach this far after labouring to snatch a slim 1-0 triumph following a 1-1 draw recorded by the two teams after the first leg encounter held in the city.

However, giving his insights of the upcoming big match, Zahera said he knows the strength of Zesco as he has seen them playing on several occasions but he insisted that reaching into group stages is inevitable.

“I have watched them (Zesco United) playing against TP Mazembe for many times and I know their ability but we do not have to do many calculations since our programme is to land into the CAF CL group stages," he said.

Additionally, Zahera revealed that they saw it unwise to play against Mbao FC in one of their build up matches prior to Zesco mission because they do not want to face a Vodacom Premier League (VPL) side but rather a team which plies in First Division League (FDL).

“Mbao FC was one of the teams lined up to play against while camping in Mwanza but as you know, they cannot take it as a friendly match such that their mentality could be to defeat Yanga and in such scenario, players risk to pick injuries,” he said.

He then lauded organisers who arranged the camp to be held in Mwanza, saying the region has good playing venue which will give his team a good preparation.

Zahera further confirmed that he is going to be with the squad throughout all CAF CL preparation since the DR Congo national team where he trades as Assistant Coach is not playing in the preliminaries of 2022 World Cup qualifications.

Yanga’s Acting General Secretary Dismas Ten said while in Mwanza, they will play two friendly games against Pamba FC on Saturday and another team yet to be confirmed.

“The team is expected back in Dar es Salaam on September 11th to finalise rehearsals ahead of entertaining the Zambian giants," said him. He also pointed out that while in Mwanza, they will conduct another fundraising event similar to the one which was staged in Dar es Salaam dubbed 'Kubwa Kuliko'.

Additionally, Ten disclosed that Yanga members in Mwanza are the ones who recommended the team to drill itself there such that they will fully cooperate with their team during its stay there.

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Author: BENJAMIN BEN

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