Yanga, Mamelodi Sundowns in crucial CAF Champions League quarterfinal match

What you need to know:

  • The match will take place at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium at 9 pm East African time.

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania's football giants, Young Africans (Yanga), face a moment of truth today, March 30, 2024, against Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the first leg of the CAF Champions League quarterfinal match.

The match will take place at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium at 9 pm East African time.

Although Yanga will miss the services of four key players, the Jangwani Street giants are optimistic about recording positive results to make the return game in South Africa next week easier.

The players, Pacome Zouzoua, Khalid Aucho, Kouassi Attohoula Yao, and Kibwana Shomari, will be out of the match plan of the Argentine tactician, Miguel Gamondi, due to injuries.

They did not participate in intensive training ahead of the encounter due to the fact that they had not fully recovered.

Pacome and Aucho are suffering from knee injuries, while Yao is yet to recover from a hamstring injury, and Shomari is suffering from a tendon injury.

Yao's position will be filled by Dickson Job, while Aucho and Pacome's positions will be filled by Salum "Sure Boy" Abubakari and Kennedy Musonda or Max Nzengeli.

These players have been instrumental figures for Yanga SC throughout the season, contributing significantly to the team's success in domestic and international competitions and their progression in continental tournaments.

However, Gamondi said the absence of the key players would not cause them to lose the encounter because other players are ready for the match and to win.

Gamondi mentioned that other players are in good form, ready to face tough challenges from the African Football League (AFL) champions.

He predicted a tough match but said they would target victory after his players had trained well ahead of the encounter. “It is going to be a tough match, as we know the strength of Mamelodi Sundowns. Our task is to make all Tanzanians happy, and the only way to achieve that is to record victories,” said Gamondi.

He added that Mamelodi Sundowns are a strong side, but that does not give them a chance to win against his team.

"It will be 11 against 11 players who will be on the battle field; what's important is to play with determination and secure the best results," he said.

For his part, Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena said they are ready to face Yanga while admitting that the Tanzanian giants have the best players who they need to take care of.

“Yanga are a good team with an experienced coach, Miguel Gamondi, but we are here to achieve the best results. I have committed players who know the meaning of competition and what to do,” said Mokwena.

He explained that both teams have quality players, adding another layer of excitement to the eagerly-awaited encounter.

He said his players are in top form ahead of the encounter and know the strength and weakness of the Jangwani Street side.

Probable lineup for Yanga: Djigui Diarra, Dickson Job, Lomalisa Mutambala, Ibrahim "Bacca" Hamad, Bakari Mwamnyeto, Salum "Sure Boy" Abubakari, Max Nzengeli, Mudathir Yahya, Joseph Guede Gnanou, Stephane Aziz KI, Kennedy Musonda