‘Yanga close to Promised Land’

YOUNG Africans Assistant Coach Cedric Kaze said they still have a big chance to qualify for the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederation Cup and vowed to do well in their remaining three games.

Yanga were held to a 1-1 draw by Real De Bamako in Mali over the weekend as the two teams shared spoils in an open match that could have gone either way.

A 60th-minute lead by Fiston Mayele was responded in the injury time by Emile Kone whose free header found the back of the net to save his team from a first home loss.

The two teams meet in a return match on Wednesday next week at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, a game likely to be thrilling as they have now understood each other in terms of playing patterns.

Thereafter, Yanga will remain in Dar es Salaam to welcome US Monastir of Tunisia at the same venue before travelling to Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo to face TP Mazembe in DR Congo on April 2nd in their final group stage match.

“Of course, the 1-1 draw still favours us other than conceding a defeat. The most important thing is to focus on all the three upcoming matches in order to secure maximum points” he said.

He then called on more fans to descend at Benjamin Mkapa arena during their back-to-back home encounters so as to give players full support while promising to work their lungs out in a hunt for a victory.

“Our supporters should understand that we have three fresh games to play and two of them will be staged at our home territory where we are going to take the advantage of the broad pitch to succeed,” he said.

On his part, Real De Bamako coach Samake Diano hailed his players for the spirited performance of not giving up until the stoppage time when they equalised.

“We wanted to claim all three points from our home venue but we are thankful with one point because it is going to help us in our next games,” he said.

As it stands in Group D, US Monastir continues to fly at the top with 7 points from three matches followed by Yanga who parade 4 points after three-game outings while TP Mazembe sit in the third slot with 3 points and Bamako is at the base with 2 points.

Hence, the group is still wide open for each team to progress through meaning that the remaining three fixtures will be judgmental.

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