ZESCO United’s Thaban Kamusoko came back to haunt his former employer Young Africans with a last gasp equaliser, in their CAF Champions League clash at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Yanga were on the verge of placing one leg into the group stage of the continental top tier clubs competition, as they took a priceless lead through a spot kick well converted by Patrick Sibomana but they failed to defend their narrow lead to the final whistle.
Following the results, Yanga will be required to win or register a draw of two goals and above away at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Lusaka in two weeks’ time for them to sail through into the group stage.
A barren draw will see Yanga knocked out and drop to CAF Confederation Cup competition.
The Jangwani Street side reached this stage after beating Township Rollers of Botswana 1-0 away but they are still without a home win in the competition, following a 1-1 first leg result in Dar es Salaam.
It was a cautious start for both sides but Yanga somewhat lacked pace upfront. Kamusoko first attempt on target just few minutes from the kickoff was well gathered by impressive goalkeeper Metacha Mnata.
Zesco, who are under the tutelage of former Yanga tactician George ‘Chicken’ Lwandamina pushed forward in the 7th minute but Jesse Were’s shot inside the box was timely blocked by defender Lamine Moro before goalkeeper Mnata collected the ball.
Yanga first attempt came in the 11th minute, when Mapinduzi Balama’s diagonal shot after a neat interplay of passes with Papy Tshishimbi narrowly missed the target.
Another chance for Yanga came in the 15th minute, after Tshishimbi cross deep inside the box found Sadney Urikhob but his glancing header went off target. John Chi’ngandu ought to have scored for the visitors in the 18th minute but his shot inside the box sailed wide.
Zesco were punished in the 23rd minute, when Yanga won a penalty. Defender, Marcel Kalonda bundled down goal bound Urikhob in and referee pointed to the spot. Sibomana stepped up and sent keeper Jacob Banda a wrong way.
After scoring, Yanga gained confidence and dictated the proceedings but lacked killer indistinct. Yanga pushed the visitors to the wall especially but were unable to make use of the chances they created with Urikhob, Sibomana and Tshishimbi the main culprits.
Zesco introduced Winston Kalengo for Jesse Were in the 37th minute and five minutes before the interval, Kasumba Amuru failed to pull level after having the better of Mohamed Issa and with only Mnata to beat, he fired off target.
After the break, Zesco started more strongly searching for equalizer, while Yanga sat on their territory and in the 48th minute Mnata kept Yanga alive as he produced a point blank fine save to deny the visitors.
Yanga called out Urikhob and Mohamed Issa for Maybin Kalengo and Mrisho Ngasa respectively in effort to search for a second goal. Zesco called Kondwani Mtonga for Chi’ngandu.
In the 53rd minute, Yanga missed a glittering opportunity to stretch their lead when Mohamed Issa Banka clever pass into the box found Tshishimbi unmarked but the Congolese agonisingly headed wide.
Mnata was also called off his line for rescue in the 59th minute, when he stretched to the limit to tip off Winston Kalengo’s shot for a corner kick.
Zesco came knocking again in the 75th minute but they squandered the opportunity after Mnata superbly saved the shot to deny them an equaliser.
The visitors mounted pressure and missed two clear chances in the 85th minute in which, Mnata produced another fine saves.
Yanga had to introduce in Ally Ally for Balama, who was stretched out of the field after sustaining injury and Zesco pulled level, when Kamusoko blistering shot in the very final ball of added minutes precisely beat Mnata.
Today Azam FC will face Zimbabwe’s Triangle in CAF Confederation Cup, first round first leg at the Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam