YOUNG Africans Head Coach, Luc Eymael revealed that his target is to push his team to the two top places of the Mainland Premier League table at the end of the season.
Next up for Yanga will be the game against Tanzania Prisons at the same venue on Saturday in another big match for both teams as the race towards the end of the season heat up.
Yanga saw their 85th birthday celebrations slightly spoiled after being held to a 1-1 draw by determined Mbeya City at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
The hosts had to come from behind to equalise an own goal scored by defender Lamine Moro late in the first half with Bernard Morrison heading home midway into the second half to earn a point for his team.
The first round match between the two teams also ended in a barren draw at Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya, hence Mbeya City have proved a tough opponent to Yanga this season rejecting to be defeated in both instances.
“My target as I told you, is to bring Yanga to the top two places on the table at the end of the season,” Eymael said in a postmatch press briefing.
Commenting on the game, the Belgian said their opponents (Mbeya City) had only one clear chance to score, which hit the cross bar.
“Today (Tuesday), we scored two goals which means we had to win the game. We missed several chances to score but look at that foul directed to Morrison inside the penalty box. How many referees from Tanzania are selected to officiate AFCON games?” Questioned Eymael.
He praised his team’ reaction in the second half against an opponent he said refused to play football, saying their goalkeeper was buying time a lot by pretending to be injured.
“Have you ever seen my players lying on the ground when we are winning? I do not entertain that because I want my players to play football,” he said.
About an own goal scored by Moro, Eymael said it was caused by lack of communication with his goalkeeper Metacha Mnata but he went on to laud his players for the second half display with the introduction of captain Papy Tshishimbi bringing extra momentum to his side.
Eymael also said that players are supposed to use their own decision making skills, while on the field to know when to shoot and when to give a pass since coaches are not there to decide for them.
His counterpart for Mbeya City Amri Said openly blamed his goalkeeper for conceding the equalising goal by the hosts.
“Getting one point against Yanga at the National Stadium is not that bad but we had opportunity to win only that my goalkeeper conceded a silly goal, which he could have easily blocked,” he said.
Said defended his players from claims that they were deliberately wasting time as the match progressed, insisting that Yanga were playing a bit of physical game.
“They (players) were being knocked hence attracting medical attention frequently,” remarked Said.
Meanwhile, Ndanda SC Head Coach Abdul Mingange applauded his players’ commitment in their 2-0 victory over Mwadui FC at CCM Kambarage in Shinyanga on Tuesday.
The visitors’ goals were netted by Joseph Samuel in the 69th minutes and Omary Khamis in the 89 minutes, reports Alexander Sanga from Shinyanga.
Speaking after the match, Mingange said his charges managed to control the game in all departments. He said he was satisfied with the team’s overall performance despite facing strong opposition from the host.
“The game was tough and highly competitive, I am proud of my team after winning the match. Our focus now is to make sure we get good results in our remaining matches so as to stay in the premiership,” he said.
Mwadui FC Head Coach Khaleed Adam said he still hopes for the best from his team by winning their remaining 17 matches. He said his team played well despite their defeat.