What you need to know:
- The Two teams need to win all remaining four matches in order to qualify for the knockout stage of the CAF Champions League
Dar es Salaam. Tanzanian football giants Young Africans (Yanga) and Simba are in a tricky position to qualify for the knockout stage of the CAF Champions League following last Saturday’s results.
Yanga, who are in group D, recorded a 1-1 draw against the competition’s defending champions, Al Ahly of Egypt, at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, while Simba, who are in group B, recorded a barren draw against Jwaneng Galaxy in an away encounter played at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown, Botswana.
The results mean Yanga need victory in all remaining matches in order to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition. Yanga will play their next away against Medeama of Ghana on December 8 at Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana.
Apart from a match, Yanga will also face Medeama again at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on December 20 before hosting CR Belouizdad of Algeria on February 24 next year. The last group stage match will be against Al Ahly on March 2 next year in Cairo, Egypt.
Yanga are now placed at the bottom of the standings with one point, while Al Ahly are at the top with four points, Medeama are placed second with three points, and CR Belouizdad are third with three points.
Yanga’s competition chairman, Rodgers Gumbo, said they need to stretch their muscles in order to qualify for the next stage of the competition.
“We have remained with four matches in the group stage; we need to win all four in order to advance. Basically, we are still in the competition, and we have a chance of qualifying for the next stage,” said Gumbo.
Simba, who on Saturday face Wydad Club Athletic at Mohammed V in Casablanca, needs to win all remaining matches to secure the knockout slot.
After playing away against Wydad, Simba will have another task against the same team on December 19 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium before traveling to Abidjan to face Asec Mimosas, and the Msimbazi Street giant will complete a group’s stage fixture against Jwaneng Galaxy at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on March 2 next year.
Simba’s head coach, Algerian Abdelhak Benchikha, has said they are preparing for the next matches and believe they will do their best.
“Our focus for the next match and main target is to do our best. We will be playing away against the team that has yet to win a single match; we need to be very keen," said Benchikha.
Young Africans (Yanga) attacking midfielder Zouzoua Pacome (right) vies for the ball against Al Ahly defender Asser Ahmed Elhanafy during the CAF Champions League match at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Saturday night. The teams drew 1-1. PHOTO | LOVENESS BERNARD