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Yanga earn healthy away win to knock on CAF CC semis door

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Yanga players celebrate their win over Rivers United
  • Fiston Mayele scored both goals in the second half
  • Tanzania have never qualified for a continental semi-final
  • Asec, Monastr play to draw in another quarter final match

Tanzanian Premier League champions Yanga SC have put one foot into the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup after edging out Nigeria’s Rivers United 2-0 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo.

A second half brace from Fiston Mayele earned Yanga the massive victory and will now have all the advantage heading into next weekend’s home tie in Dar es Salaam, where they will be staring at a first ever continental semi-final appearance.

“I am delighted to win because it is not easy to come to Nigeria and win. We played well and took our chances, but the game is far from over. We still have the second leg and we need to do even better to ensure we qualify,” Nasreddine Nabi, the Yanga head coach said.

Mayele broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute when he was picked out by a brilliant through ball from skipper Bakari Mwamnyeto.

The Congolese import ran to the pass before hitting it past the keeper first time.

The same pair was to work together for the second goal scored nine minutes from time, this time Mwamnyeto passing back a recycled ball from a set-piece to Mayele who made no mistake with the second goal.

Yanga rewarded for being adventurous 

The Tanzanian giants were rewarded for being the most adventurous forward and they had chances to score even from the first half.

The best of the opening 45 saw Mayele square through a ball to Stephane Aziz Ki, but the latter’s shot from close range was blocked by the keeper.

Rivers had some chances too and their best fell on skipper Nwagua Nakeberi who was put through on goal by Gideon Duru, but he could not guide the ball into the net with the keeper beaten at the backpost.

The Nigerians have their work cut out heading to Dar and they need to win at least 2-0 to stretch the game to penalties, or win by a margin of more than three goals.

Elsewhere, Ivorian side Asec Mimosas scoured a barren draw against Tunisia’s US Monastir in another quarter final fixture.

Visitors Asec had the best opportunities on the balance of chances especially in the first half, but they were denied by a combination of good goalkeeping from Sadok Yedes and lack of composure in the final third.

Brilliant chances 

Agbalegah Zuma had a brilliant diving header saved by the keeper before Esis Flugence had another effort saved at the near post by the keeper.

Pacome Zouzoua then lined up on the list of chances with a brilliant shot from distance, which keeper Yedes did brilliantly to pluck away.

Heykeul Chikhaoui had the best chance for the home side when he lined up a shot from inside the box but it was blocked while Ahmed Jafeli should have done better with a second half chance, but he took too many touches inside the box allowing the defenders to race back and block his final effort.

It is anybody’s game heading into next weekend’s return tie with the game evenly poised at 0-0.

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