‘Yanga close to Promised Land’

YOUNG Africans coach Nasreddine Nabi said they are too close to reaching the CAF Confederation Cup knockout phase while Real  Bamako trainer Nouhoum Diane admitted to have a narrow chance of reaching the event’s quarters.

Yanga secured their first clean sheet of the  group stage campaign following a 2-0 win over  Bamako in an explosive game at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Wednesday night.

Both  Fiston Mayele and Jesus Moloko netted their second goals of the campaign as they were on target to enable them to grab an upper hand to advance to the best-eight stage with two matches to play.

Up next, Yanga take on group D leaders US Monastir in their last home game at Benjamin Mkapa arena on March 19th before flying to Lubumbashi  DR Congo to face TP Mazembe.

“It is important that we have generated a win and this gives us a good chance to advance into the quarterfinals even though we still have two matches to play.

“As you witnessed, the game was tough and our opponents have a great competitive team which was not easy to beat but at last, we managed to come out clean from the difficult game,” he said.

Adding, he said the second-half substitution of Stephanie Aziz Ki was a tactical one as he wanted to increase midfield dominance as the visitors were enjoying much ball possession then.

“Of course, Aziz Ki is a talented player but sometimes, no matter how good you are, you fail to cope with demands of a particular match and this is what happened to him hence the reason he was withdrawn,” he said.

Concerning the missed spot-kick by Yannick Bangala, Nabi said it was just unfortunate for him not to convert as they usually have special training sessions on how to play penalties and most of the players score at the rehearsal ground.

“I think it is just a matter of telling them to be relaxed before taking the penalty because it needs special attention and he is not only him to miss from the spot in my squad this season,” he said.

His counterpart for Bamako, Diane conceded the outcome saying they faced a complete team which is good in all departments and this made the game very difficult for them.

“We played against a good team with quality players and they were playing at home, we tried our best to get something tangible from the game but that didn’t materialise.

“Our chances of going into the quarterfinals are slim but we still have two more encounters to play and we will try to get six points from them,” he said as his team is yet to win a group stage game so far.

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