Yanga take first loss positively

YOUNG Africans Head Coach Nasreddine Nabi said the 2-1 loss will give them enough space to evaluate the team while Ihefu trainer, Juma Mwambusi hailed his charges’ discipline that denied his opponents passage to 50-match unbeaten run.

The two coaches were reacting following a solo Premier League match on Tuesday at Highland Estates Stadium in Mbarali, Mbeya where the hosts stamped a vital 2-1 victory.

The win took Ihefu to 11 points from 14 games as they aim to continue doing better in the ongoing league as they aim to end the win-less demon troubled them in many previous games of this season.

As it stands, all the 16-envoys on the log have tasted the bitter pill of the contest this season while the Jangwani Street side were the only side enjoyed the perfect run prior to Tuesday’s loss.

“For us, we have drawn positives from this defeat because it is going to help us sort out problems in the team…if you just record good results without facing defeat, you become blindfolded and fail to see where you need to boost the squad,” Nabi said.

He added: “We are going to sit down and see what went wrong so that in the upcoming fixtures, we should be able to stamp success and get back on the winning track.”

He then seized the opportunity to urge the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB) create flexible timetable insisting that the defeat on the day was highly fueled by fatigue of players as they had to play frequently within a short period of time.

“They (TPLB) should try to create friendly league fixtures giving enough space between games to all teams so that players can have ample time to prepare because they are the ones who work hard on the pitch,” he said.

Again, the Tunisian coach hailed Ihefu for the victory saying they deserved it as his charges were not in their usual form of play they are commonly known for,” he remarked.

On his part, Mwambusi said he told his players that no team in the world is unbeatable, gave them a spirit to fight hard and eventually they won.

“We also played with much respect to them knowing that we were facing the country’s historic and all time champions that is why we exercised discipline in marking,” he said.

He, however, conceded that defeating the giants does not mean that they will be winning all of their remaining matches, rather, it should instill a fighting spirit among his players.

Still, Yanga have written history in African football by becoming among the top five teams in the continent to hold a long League’s unbeaten run.

Handled by Tunisia’s Nabi, the team became the top team in Tanzania to hold the longest unbeaten run in the League and 4th in Africa.

The last time Young Africans had lost a match was April 25, 2021. Last season Young Africans won a treble in Tanzania and have also qualified for the Group stage of the 2022/2023 CAF Confederation Cup.

ASEC Mimosas holds Africa’s longest unbeaten run of 108 matches, while Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia) are second with 85 matches, while Rwanda’s army side APR are third with 50 matches.

Yanga have now joined in fourth place, while African giants Al Ahly from Egypt are fifth with 46 matches.

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