IT was milestone for Young Africans as the Tanzanian envoys hit the CAF Confederation Cup semis to write a new chapter in club’s history.
The barren draw with Rivers United of Nigeria at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Sunday earned the Tanzanian envoys a 2-0 aggregate to advance to the semifinal stage of the tournament for the first time since the club’s formation in 1935.
The best position Yanga reached is the quarter final stage of the African Club Championship in 1969 and 1970. They also reached the African Cup Winners’ Cup quarterfinals in 1995.
Yanga became the second club, after Simba in 1974, to advance to the CAF inter-club semi-finals following yesterday’s achievement. Yanga’s semifinal opponents are Marumo Gallants of South Africa who eliminated Pyramid of Egypt with 2-1 aggregate win.
Yanga’s traditional rivals Simba still parade the superior record in 1993, being the CAF Winners’ Cup finalists. In 1974 they finished as semi-finalists in the African Cup of Champions Clubs. Rivers who lost 2-0 at home, came a better side yesterday.
Yanga were the first to make first attempt in the 12th minute through Clement Mzize. Mzize failed to complete Fiston Mayele’s set piece by chopping the ball above Rivers United goalkeeper Victor Sochima and the ball went wide.
A few minutes later Mzize came strongly to strike a volley out of the box, but it missed the target after the ball went a few inches above the post. Yanga dominated the pitch’s mid-terrain with better footwork than their opponents, playing objective football, while their opponents needed a clear opportunity to break the deadlock in the first-45 minutes.
Similar to their first leg game, where both teams failed to score goals in the first half during first leg, the Yanga’s tactician Nasreddine Nabi introduced Bernard Morrison for Aziz Ki and before that Jesus Moloko replaced Mzize in the striking force.
Yanga made closest attempt in the 55th minute of the game after a well-coordinated one- two passes involving Stephen Aziz-Ki, Mayele and Salum Abubakar, but the attempt didn’t yield fruits. It was the closest attempt; Mayele left to find his target behind the net to complete Abubakar’s set through, but the goalkeeper Sochima timely blocked the ball for abortive corner Mayele maintained his goal-chase in the 60th minute, sprinting against a Rivers United defender Ohaegbu Anthony who failed to stop Mayele and opted to foul him.
Aziz-Ki delivered a longrange master-piece foul, but the Rivers custody Sochima stood firm and that stood until the end of 90 minutes. In other Confederation Cup encounters, ASEC Mimosas sailed to the semis after beating US Monastir with 2-0 aggregate win while Marumo Gallants kicked off Pyramid with a 2-1 aggregate win.