Mainland champions Young Africans (Yanga) face a tough task today when they host Zamalek of Egypt in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League first round first leg tie at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Zamalek players

The match will kick off at 04:00pm.

Knowing that they had been thrown out of continental tournaments whenever they faced Egyptian sides, Yanga must be thinking of capitalising on a home advantage to curve a niche and stride into the finals of the Champions League.

However, Yanga need a big win today against the Egyptian giants before thinking of further challenge in the tournament.

Having won 11 league titles, 21 Egyptian cups, five CAF Champions League titles, three CAF Super Cups and the African Cup Winners’ Cup, Zamalek is one of the most successful teams in the history of African football.

Yanga will play the match without four regular players who are nursing injuries.

According to head coach Kostadian Papic, the injured players are Nurdin Bakari, Ghananian goalkeeper Yew Berko, Salum Telela and Rashid Gumbo.

The Serbian tactician said though he will miss some of his players the home team is prepared for the game and he is very confident of good results.

“The morale in the camp is very high and we are very confident that we will give our supporters and the national the desired results,” he said.

Papic, who has coached many top African football clubs, however said this will be his first time as a coach to face the Egyptian giants.

He called upon all Yanga supporters and soccer lovers in the country to cheer the team the whole 90 minutes and promised to use his experience and knowledge to silence the Egyptian team.

On his remarks, Yanga on field team leader Shadrack Nsajigwa said his teammates are aware that Zamalek are a very good side but it can be defeated.

The Yanga skipper also asked supporters of his team to come in their large numbers to give the home team the necessary support.

“We are asking all soccer loving people to come to the National Stadium and cheer the team. We are very confident that we can turn the tables,” he said.

However, the captain refused to promise a win only to say the team is ready for the encounter.

Zamalek assistant coach Ossam Nabil said his team knows that they will face a side which is very good but they did not come here as tourists.

He said his side is well prepared for the game and he promised all football lovers that his team will make sure that it take home the much needed away win while playing very good and entertaining football.

“We know our opponents very well. They are a very good side and we are fully aware that they have prepared well for this game. We are also prepared for the encounter because our aim is to win the championship,” said Nabil.

Nabil also said they have two foreign players in the squad, Alex Mundomo from Cameroon and Razaq Thomas, who is the Benin national team skipper.

After today first leg match, the two teams will meet for the second leg match in Cairo either on March 2, 3 or 4.

Source The Guardian


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