YOUNG Africans face an uphill task in CAF Champions League as they will need to overcome a 2-1 loss they suffered to Township Rollers of Botswana at the National Stadium yesterday.
Aubrey Chirwa's goal was not enough for Yanga as the visitors netted goals through Lemponye Tshireletso and Motsholetsi Sikele, which condemned Yanga to a painful defeat at a relatively well attended first round, first leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
To beat Township Rollers at home in the return leg clash and advance to the group stage, will be a tough mission to the Tanzania Mainland envoys as they will need to score two clear goals in Gaborone next week.
Township Rollers came as 'dark horse' and Yanga struggled to contain them in the 45 opening minutes. The visitors displayed neat football and good footwork. They played confidently and were pressing Yanga high up, forcing them into making several errors.
Just first minutes from the kick off, skillful attacker, Ibrahim Ajib latched onto a long pass on the left side, drove past Maano Ditshupo and forced his way into the box but defender, Simisani Mathumo stood firm to clear the danger.
In the 11th minute, the visitors snatched a crucial away goal, when Tshireletso turned around midfielder Papy Tshishimbi before firing a 35-metre shot that precisely beat goalkeeper, Ramadhani Kabwili. Four minutes later, Tshishimbi's miscalculated back pass to captain Kelvin Yondani, was intercepted by danger man Tshireletso and the striker rounded off keeper Kabwili but his shot came of the near post.
Yanga slightly recovered and in the 18th minute, they made quick interplay but Tshishimbi fired a shot that narrowly missed the target. And, after pressing hard Yanga pulled level after half an hour mark, when Chirwa calmly slotted home with a low shot at the far post.
The goal came after a nice interplay in the midfield, where Pius Buswita set up Tshishimbi and the Congolese, released Chirwa only for the Zambian to net with ease. The goal inspired Yanga, who forced three quick-fire corner kicks but failed to make the most from the chances created.
Township Rollers were forced to make early changes in the 43rd minute, after Mthokozisi Msomi picked a knock and was replaced by Ivan Ntege. A minute before the interval, Ajib's set piece was cleverly connected by Tshishimbi and Emmanuel Martin's header came off the top bar.
Yanga were sloppy at times in the first half and improved after the break and made note that counter-pressing was "a main weapon" against Township Rollers, who were determined to play football as the visitors were good at keeping possession.
Yanga started on a front foot, pressing the visitors high up and in the 46th minute Hassan Kessy made a good run past defenders but his low shot sailed narrowly wide. Two minutes later, left wing back, Gadiel Michael also made a solo run on the left and fired a diagonal shot that almost beat goalkeeper, Keeagile Kgosipula at the far post.
In the 51st minute, referee Pacifique Ndabihawenimana from Burundi ignored a penalty shout after midfielder Pato Ngonyani appeared to have controlled the ball with his hand inside the box.