Dar es Salaam — Young Africans coach, George Lwandamina was left crestfallen after the Mainland giants succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Botswana's Township Rollers in the CAF Champions League match yesterday.
The defeat means Yanga now need a win of at least two clear goals in the first round, first leg clash in Gaborone on March 17 to book a place in the group stage of the tournament.
"Losing always puts players under pressure, so we will go and work hard," Lwandamina said shortly after the first leg match at the National Stadium.
His Rollers counterpart, Nikola Kavazovic showered praise on his players, saying would stop them from outshining Yanga in the second leg showdown.
Yanga made a bright start yesterday and fluffed an opportunity to break the deadlock a few seconds into the game when Ibrahim Ajibu latched onto a Pius Buswita pass, but his shot narrowly missed target.
As expected, Rollers took the game to the hosts a few minutes later and went one up in the 10th minute through Maano Ditshupo, whose shot gave goalkeeper Ramadhan Kabwili no chance.
Yanga levelled matters in the 30th minute through Obrey Chirwa after he was set up by Papy Kambamba Tshishimbi.
The visitors made it 2-1 though Motsholetsi Sikele eight minutes to time off a pass by Ivan Ntege.
Rollers, the most successful side in Botswana football history with 14 domestic league titles, have never been to the pool stages of African club competition, coming closest in the Confederation Cup in 2016 when they reached the third round.
They were suspended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2011 after they withdrew from the Champions League due to financial constraints.
However, the club is in a much healthier position under majority owner Jagdish Shah, and that is starting to be reflected on the pitch.
They were able to take advantage of a Al-Merrikh side in some disarray, with a number of players left at home and a new coach in Mahomed Abdalla, who was in charge for his first game.
Young Africans:- Ramadhan Kabwili, Hassan Kessy, Gadiel Michael, Saidi Juma, Kelvin Yondani, Papy Tshishimbi, Pius Buswita, Pato Ngonyani, Ibrahim Ajibu, Obrey Chirwa and Emmanuel Martin.
Rollers:- Keeagile Kgosipula, Maano Ditshupo, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisani Mathumo, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Kaone Vanderwesthyisen, Motsholetsi Sikele, Lemponye Tshireletso, Segolame Boy, Mthokozisi Msomi, Joel Mogorosi.