Kagame Cup holders Young Africans are focusing on the semifinal progression as they meet Zanzibar champions Mafunzo FC in the first quarterfinal match to be played at the National Stadium in Dare s Salaam this afternoon.
Yanga, who kicked of the tournament horribly after losing to Burundi’s Atletico by 2-0 goals in the opening match on July 14, have convinced their fans of superb performance.
Yanga played three group stage matches won two and lost the opener to finish second in their group led by Burundi champions Atletico Olympique.
However, Yanga need to overcome a possible resistance from the Zanzibar champions who also have the local knowledge in and outside the pitch.
While the holders are pre-match favourites, Mafunzo look forward to create the tournament’s biggest upset should they knockout the four-time winners Yanga.
Mafunzo have played only two games during the group stage as their group had only three teams while their today’s opponents played thrice.
Mafunzo have never posted a win in their two previous matches and have managed to score just a goal that brought them into the last eight stages with still a lot to do.
Yanga have been in inspiring form as they have scored nine goals while conceding paltry three to stay in form ahead of today’s tie.
Yanga, who look to make a steady improvement as the tournament rolls into the knockout stages, will have to work above the call of duty should they make semifinal progression.
They are likely to meet the winners of the other quarterfinal match between equally competitive teams of URA and APR from Uganda and Rwanda, respectively.
Cruising into the semifinal stage of the Kagame Cup will be a bonus for the Zanzibar champs who made their maiden appearance in Dar es Salaam last year.
So far, URA, who finished their preliminary rounds with unique unbeaten run, looks to be the tournament’s red hot favourites though it is not always the case.
Two other quarterfinal matches are on card tomorrow at the same venue as six-time winners Simba meet Azam FC in a match termed as a Dar es Salaam derby.
The teams met for the last time during the inaugural Friendship Cup final played barely three days ahead of the Kagame Cup kick off.
Simba came from behind to level the score and grabbed a shootout victory over the ice cream makers in a dramatic final.
The Simba-Azam winners will have to play the winners of the other quarterfinal between Atletico and of Burundi and invitees As Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The prize package f the tournament still stands at $60,000, half of which is for the winners, $20,000 for the losing finalists and $10,000 for the third placed finishers.
The prize package has been consistently been footed by Rwanda President Paul Kagame for more than seven years now.