Dar es Salaam. Young Africans interim head coach Noel Mwandila says they will treat today’s Caf Confederation match against Rwanda’s Rayon Sport like a final.
Having been brutally exposed defensively in Algeria, Yanga need to beat Rayon to get back into contention for a top-two finish and a quarter-finals place.
Algeria’s USM Alger illustrated their strength by whipping Yanga 4-0 in Algiers last week.
To ensure they restored their dented poise, Yanga were yesterday busy, perfecting their tactics ahead of the showdown, which kicks off at 7pm at the National Stadium.
“We need to win in order to appease our disgruntled fans and revive our hopes for a place in the quarter-finals,” Mwandila said yesterday.
“We started the group stage on a fales note, but we learnt some good lessons in our game against USM. We will use those lessons in the next match,” he said.
Yanga are now at the bottom of Group D, which also comprise Gor Mahia of Kenya, who take on the Algeria team (USM Alger) at the Moi International Sports Complex in Nairobi today.
Asked whether he would rest some of his key players in today’s clash, Mwandila said: “We will miss the services of two or so key players.”
“We’ll also have some who missed our first group stage match in Algiers,” he added.
According to him, Yanga will be without midfielder Papy Tshishimbi and Said Juma, who are serving a one match suspension.
But they will have on board Zambian forward Obrey Chirwa and defender Kelvin Yondani, who did not travel with Yanga to Algeria last week.
Rayon Sport, who have been in the country since Monday, are a good team with strong individuals.
In their first group stage match, they battled to a 1-1 draw with Gor Mahia.
Rayon coach Ivan Minneart said yesterday that they will all out for a victory in today’s game.
“Yanga are a strong team and will be playing at their home venue. But we believe in our strengths and we can play a good game,” he said.
In Kenya, hosts Gor Mahia hope home ground advantage, clinical finishing and crowd power can help them build on an encouraging start to the group phase of the Caf Confederation when they host USM Alger of Algeria today.
The Nairobi outfit forced a 1-1 match-day 1 draw at Rayon Sports of Rwanda.
“We can take advantage of playing at home if a big crowd turns up, and I want my team to score more goals from the many chances they create,” said Gor Mahia’s Malta-born Gor coach Dylan Kerr.
All eight match-day 2 fixtures in the African equivalent of the Uefa Europa League will be played today.