MAINLAND envoys in CAF Confederation Cup, Young Africans face a monumental task today, when they face Kenya champions Gor Mahia at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.
Yanga, who departed to Nairobi on Monday minus several key players, are looking for their first win in group D. The Jangwani Street lads are yet to taste victory in the group stage so far.
Midfielder dynamo Zimbabwean, Thabani Kamusoko and defenders Kelvin Yondani and Hassan Kessy were missing in the squad that travelled to Nairobi and no reason was given why the key players missed the trip.
However, reports from other quarters suggest that the players have boycotted, pressing the club leadership to offset their dues before they sign new contracts with the team.
Players who made the trip to Nairobi include goalkeepers Youthe Rostand and Beno Kakolanya, defenders Juma Abdul, Andrew Vincent 'Dante', Abdallah Shaibu 'Ninja', Mwinyi Haji Mngwali, Pato Ngonyani and Gardiel Michael.
Midfielders are Said Juma 'Makapu', Said Mussa, Juma Mahadhi, Papy Kabamba Tshishimbi, Pius Buswita, Ibrahim Ajib, Geoffrey Mwashiuya and Emmanuel Martin.
Strikers are Yohana Nkomola and a Burundian Amisi Tambwe. Yanga, who still crawl with a point from their two outings, have yet to win a game, hence seeking their first victory in Nairobi tomorrow.
The only Tanzanian envoys in the continental level tournament, Yanga scrapped their single point in their barren home draw with Rayon Sports of Rwanda at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
At the bottom of the Group D table, Yanga began their campaign with humiliating 4-0 away loss to USM Alger in Algiers before being forced to a barren draw with the Kigali side.
USM Alger are leading Group D table with four points followed by Gor Mahia and Rayon Sports with two points each. After their tomorrow match in Nairobi, Yanga will face Gor Mahia again in Dar es Salaam on July 29th this year. The team will be under their Congolese tactician, Mwinyi Zahera for the first time in their today clash.
Yanga will host USM Alger in Dar es Salaam on August 19th this year, before completing their mission with Rayon Sports in Kigali on August 28th this year. Gor Mahia under Englishman and former Simba Coach Dylan Kerr, are also yet to taste victory in the stage as they managed two draws against USM Alger and Rayon Sport respectively.
Kerr admitted that the just ended CECAFA Kagame Cup had been a good test for his players ahead of their game against Yanga, saying the enthusiasm and energy they had displayed in the tournament is what they will be taking into their today's game.
Gor finished third in Kagame Cup 2018. Kerr's side placed second in the group will as their opponents be seeking for their first win in the group to strengthened their position in the group table or move to the top spot if USM Alger are being held in Kigali, Rwanda today when they face Rayon Sports at the Stade Regional Nyamirambo .
Both Rayon Sports and USM Algers have never met in any competition. After registering two consecutive draws against Gor Mahia of Kenya and Yanga, Rayon play their third game against the Algerian giants.
"We are very much looking forward to USM Alger tie; it's a match that will determine a lot about our future and chances in the group. Winning it would be a very good turning point in our continental football campaign.
We want to give it our best shot for a home victory," Rayon Sports' Brazilian coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves de Calmo said.
He added: "We failed our mission in CECAFA Kagame Cup, which was to win it. But at the same time we drew positives from the tournament, now I know my players better and how to line them up in big games." Anything less than a victory against USM Alger will see Rayon Sports' chances of reaching the quarter-finals wane.
"It's important that we remain in the contention but it will be tough against a big team like USM Alger, but we're well prepared for the task." he further noted.
The Blues became the first Rwandan side to reach the group stages of any continental competition in April after overcoming Costa do Sol of Mozambique 3-2 on aggregate to reach the group stages of the Confederation Cup.
Two top teams from each group will advance to the quarter final and the best four of them will enter a semifinal stage.