Nabi: Squad rotation paid well

YOUNG Africans coach Nasreddine Nabi said rotation of players against Singida Big Stars was inevitable, while his counterpart Hans Van Pluijm described the 1-0 loss as ‘unfortunate.’

Yanga progressed to the Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) final following a hard-earned 1-0 victory over the Singida-based side at Liti Stadium in Singida over the weekend.

They had to wait until the 82nd minute when substitute Fiston Mayele broke the deadlock with a volley to steer his side to a second successive final slot.

They will now lock horns with Azam in a sparkling final encounter that will decide who deserves the season’s ASFC crown.

“We had to rotate the squad because we have a big match in the CAF Confederation Cup final; some players needed to rest and give others a playing time.

“The most important thing is that we have managed to cruise to the final, and we could not make the best of the first half because of the players’ fatigue after a long travel from South Africa to here.

“This forced us to make substitutions in the second half, which paid well as we succeeded in scoring the winner,” said Nabi, searching for a possible quadruple of titles this season.

On his part, Pluijm hailed his charges for displaying great performance, insisting that they embraced tactical discipline throughout the explosive match.

“I think, in my opinion, our team played very well today (Sunday), and the tactical discipline was high to the extent that we could not give them enough space in the midfield,” Pluijm said.

He added that the individual brilliance of the opponent’s striker, Mayele made the difference on the day, saying they contained their opponents before his introduction.

“When he came on, he scored, which is the individual quality. He has quality to the extent that he can transform the match,” said the former Yanga gaffer.

Moreover, Pluijm reiterated that he could not blame anybody based on their performance as he was happy with his side’s performance.

“In terms of performance, we were better than them…mind you, we were playing against the CAF Confederation Cup finalists,” he reiterated.

However, it was the third defeat for Singida Big Stars to Yanga this season, as they previously lost in two Premier League matches prior to the ASFC semifinal match.

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