Dar es Salaam. Young Africans got a slim victory against St Louis of Seychelles in the preliminary first leg encounter at the National Stadium on Saturday.
The lone goal was scored by Juma Mahadhi following a good corner kick from Geoffrey Mwashiuya in the 67th in a match that a few fans turned up. The victory means Young Africans need a draw or a victory in Victoria, Seychelles, on February 21 at Stade Linite.
Madagascan referee Andofetra Avombitana Rakotojaona will be assisted by Lionel Hasinjarasoa and Pierre Jean Eric Andrivoavonjy in officiating the match. St Louis need at least 2-0 to qualify in the next round of the tournament or 1-0 to go in a penalty shootout in the second leg.
Young Africans should blame themselves for failing to utilise many chances in yesterday’s encounter. Zambian striker Obrey Chirwa missed a penalty in the 24th minute after Hassan Kessy was fouled by St Louis defender Rokoto Arison.
Chirwa’s shot went wide.
Young Africans strikers Pius Buswita, Ibrahim Ajibu and Chirwa missed clear scoring chances in the 34th, 37th and 41st minutes. Their shots either went wide or were blocked by St Louis defenders.
St Louis goalkeeper Michael Ramandinios made commendable saves.
St Louis made few attacks, but Yanga goalkeeper Ramadhani Kabwili and defenders Hassan Kessy, Gadiel Michael, Saidi Juma and Kelvin Yondani repulsed them.
Goal scorer Juma Mahadhi is optimistic that they will qualify in the next round despite the slim win. “They applied defensive tactics. My coach George Lwandamina instructed me while at a substitutes bench and I went ahead to score the goal. We hope to shine even in Seychelles.”
St Louis captain Bentrande Esther acknowledged mistakes were made and that was why Yanga scored the goal. “We are still in the competition and we hope to revenge in the return leg.”