Dar es Salaam.Today, Young Africans (Yanga) will face Algeria’s USM Alger in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup at Dar es Salaam’s Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.
This historic game is set to begin at 4pm and will be overseen by referee Jean-Jacques Ngmbo Ndala from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
Assisting Ndala will be Olivier Kabene Safar and Zakhele Thusi Granville Siwela, both from DR Congo and South Africa, respectively. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) duties will be handled by Peter Waweru Kamaku from Kenya, with support from Akhona Makalima of South Africa and Mohamed Ibrahim from Sudan.
The match is expected to be very tough and thrilling following the standard that both teams have shown in their past games.
Tanzania’s giants will be playing in the final for the first time in their history and have the chance of winning the top prize if they outshine USM Alger in both legs. The return leg will be held in Algiers on June 3.
The winners of the final will take home $2,000,000 (Sh4.7 billion) while the runners-up will pocket $1,000,000 (Sh2.4 billion).
Yanga qualified for the final after eliminating South Africa’s Marumo Gallants on 4-1 goal aggregates. Yanga won 2-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium before recording a 2-1 victory in the return leg held in Rustenburg, South Africa.
USM Alger reached the final stage after kicking out Asec Mimosas of Ivory Coast on 2-0 goal aggregates. The team forced a barren draw in the away encounter and later won 2-0 at their home ground.
Speaking on the eve of the match, Yanga head coach Nesreddine Nabi said he is confident that he is going to win the game so as to have an easy job in their return leg.
“We have the obligation of winning every match in order to be crowned the title for the first time in our history. However, it is not going to be an easy match as we need to pull up our socks in order to reach our target,” said Nabi.
He insisted that he is looking forward to winning the match and his players will be 100 per cent committed on the pitch.
“I’m aware that we are going to face one of the best teams in the competition, USM Alger are also a strong side eyeing the title,” said Nabi. Yanga will likely be under their leading scorer, Fiston Mayele, who has been a key player for the club’s success so far.
However, Yanga will miss the services of their key midfielder Khalid Aucho, who is serving a two match ban.