Say it loud, Yanga are champs sans diadem

FINISHING the CAF Confederation Cup assignment as the runners-up did not award Young Africans the priceless silverware, but in reality, they are the overall best performers in the entire tournament.

They fought hard in all 12 matches they were assigned to en route to the finals a feat that has enabled them to reach this far and are now in history books for their heroic display in this year’s Confederation Cup.

From day one of the campaign, they showed that they are willing to reach far no wonder they have succeeded to complete the long trip in style after producing a tangible away performance versus USM Alger in Algeria on Saturday after registering a 1-0 away triumph.

Prior to the game, many people had written them off saying they would be battered by many goals especially following a 2-1 loss to USM Alger in their first leg match at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam but things were opposite.

The Jangwani Street lads gave the hosts USM Alger no breathing space and were comfortable with the ball just like the way USM Alger engaged the first leg clash in the city.

But, this is the meaning of the finals such that one team should lift up the patiently awaiting trophy while the other has to scoop the second slot and life goes on.

Bright stars began to shine for Yanga in the group stage when they topped group D after hauling 13 points from four wins, one draw, and one loss.

They scored nine goals and conceded four goals in their six fixtures and in the semifinals, the chapter of success continued as they netted four goals while allowing just one goal behind their net.

At the final stage, Yanga have scored two goals and conceded two goals in the process which mathematically means that the country’s envoys have had the best Confederation Cup sprint.

It is now a hope of every Tanzanian to see in the future editions of CAF duels, more teams playing in the finals and make it a regular appearance. Best Confederation Cup achievement for Yanga Despite narrowly missing the silverware, Nasreddine Nabi’s charges have managed to produce top goal scorer Fiston Mayele who has netted seven goals to his name, making this one of the best moments of his football career.

He is therefore one of the most expensive players on the transfer market because claiming a golden boot in CAF contest is a golden feat hence, his value on the transfer market is likely set to triple, and much respect for his goal-scoring instincts which have made him the number one striker on the continent when it comes to the Confederation Cup assignments. Keeping him at the club for next season is going to be a good decision by the management bearing in mind that many clubs will be spending sleepless nights ready to pour a lot of cash to snatch him.

Likewise, Yanga shotstopper Djigui Diarra has had a marvelous ride in the justended Confederation Cup mission even though he missed the golden glove award.

The Malian was since voted Man of the Match for Saturday’s reverse leg final encounter for embracing an epic performance that led him to make two dangerous saves including a penalty in the 56th minute to keep a clean sheet on the day.

“We have tried everything! We gave it our all. We dreamed of it like crazy! Yes, we deserved it like kings but alas, man proposes and God disposes…we will come back even stronger Inshallah by the grace of God. Big thanks to all Tanzanians for their support,” wrote Diarra on his Instagram page.

Skipper Bakari ‘Nondo’ Mwamnyeto is another brilliant performer for the Jangwani- based club after leading by example in all the games he was featured, partnering well with his colleagues Dickson Job and Ibrahim Bacca, a cream of an all-Tanzanian backline.

The midfield department has also been well marshaled by Tanzanian duo Mudathir Yahya and Salum Abubakar ‘Sureboy’ not forgetting Ugandan holding midfielder Khalid Aucho who apparently was suspended in the two final matches.

In brief, every Yanga player who wore the club’s Jersey in CAF Interclub Games performed well to his abilities, and all their efforts have driven them to reach at the end of the race and put on medals.

Competent Technical bench It is a fact that under the tutelage of Head Coach Nabi, the team’s technical panel has played a critical role to guide players of what to do for each fixture that stood their way, through in deep analysis of the opponents.

Yes, they need to be kept regardless of missing the CAF silverware as they have shown their capacities meaning that next term, they can even do much better than what they have achieved.

If possible, the management should simply add force to the existing panel by bringing on board other tacticians to simply spice up the existing one.

Presidential boost Many thanks to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for taking a leading role in motivating the country’s envoys (Yanga and Simba) to do well in CAF contest through her presidential motivation package.

Her gesture in fulfilling the pledges she made has contributed a lot to encouraging players on the pitch to put it all and without a doubt, President Samia has been thrilled with the performance displayed by her own giant teams.

Providing Yanga with a direct flight to Algeria aboard the Dreamliner plane simply shows how eager she was to witness the first ever CAF trophy landing in the country and making her to be the first sitting head of state to receive it, but, things have gone the opposite direction.

Tanzanians are always grateful for this unmeasurable support rendered by President Samia whose passion for the growth of sports in the country continues to grow day by day. Learned lessons As the nation prepares to deploy four teams in the upcoming CAF Interclub Games Yanga and Simba in CAF Champions League, Azam and Singida Big Stars in CAF Confederation Cup, they should keep in mind the importance of doing well in home matches. The away goal rule still stands in Africa unlike in Europe where it has been removed and in that regard, if the four teams will make it to the semifinals, they have to be serious with this rule.

Yanga have seen the title slip between their fingers on away goal rule after conceding two goals at home in their 2-1 loss meaning that if they had managed to repel the deficit, today, the story could have been different among Tanzanians.

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