Fight for pride restoration is a new task for Tanzanian envoys in CAF Confederation Cup, Young Africans after a 1-3 defeat to Medeama in Secondi-Takoradi, Ghana on Tuesday.
With only one point from four games, Yanga are almost out of the running for the last four in their Group A pool. Yanga head coach, Hans Van der Pluijm said he expected his team to post better results in their remaining two games to restore the team's pride.
However, the Dutchman admitted they faced tough opponents in Ghana in the match. "It was a difficult match looking at the way we started and conceded that early goal. But we managed to get the team together to play like we planned, that is why even after we conceded the second goal, we did not defend but fought to get a goal," he said in the post match meeting.
The head coach also rued wasted chances, especially in the second half. "I believe that we could have got something out of this game especially in the second half when we played better and created more chances.
The Dutch tactician conceded the defeat but was quick to say that not all was lost for his charges. "It is not a lost cause for my team because the players have gained some experience and we believe that the remaining two matches will be much positive," he concluded.
The team's midfielder Haruna Niyonzima, admitted to have lost to the team that was psychologically better prepared, and added their failure to claim three points at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam some two weeks ago, where they were forced to a 1-1 draw, played part in the away results.
"We lost the game in Tanzania as we failed to beat them in the first leg. This is a competition that most of the teams are stronger at home and we failed to get all the points at home.
We played better, especially in the second half, and I feel we should have scored a second and even gone ahead to pick a point, but that is football and we will go back and prepare for our next game," he said.
But Medeama head coach, Prince Yaw Owusu took the match as his team's turning point. "Like I said before the game, we have our destiny in our own hands if indeed we want to move to the next stage of the competition, and we showed it, right from the blast of the whistle. We got two early goals that unsettled them, but I feel we could have gotten more," he said.
However, he admitted that the second half was very difficult for his team after Yanga regained composure. "The second half was much difficult for my boys because our opponents corrected their mistakes from the first half and managed to hold us in the second," he added.
But Daniel Adjei, Medeama's goalkeeper said they knew before that if Medeama didn't win that match, then the rest would just be formalities. "It was a tough match but we managed to hold on to pick all three points.
This is a competition and for us, all hope is not lost," he said. Yanga, however, earned applause from the Ghanaian fans for their display. The staring defeat did not stop them to show that at least they were domestic league champions in Tanzania.
Abbas Mohammed bagged a brace as Medeama overcame the Tanzanian envoys 3-1 in a Group A clash played on a cutup pitch in Sekondi. Daniel Amoah also scored for the Ghanaians, whose winning margin would have been wider had Malik Akowuah not had an early penalty kick blocked by goalkeeper, Deogratius Munishi.
Simon Msuva converted a penalty for Yanga, who are virtually out of running in the second-tier competition with just one point from four matches. Medeama stayed third, behind Mouloudia Bejaia on goal difference.
They both have five points but the Algerian side was due to face Congolese side TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi yesterday.
Source: Tanzania Daily News