Yanga’s lacklustre show reflects hard work ahead

01Aug 2016
The Guardian
Yanga’s lacklustre show reflects hard work ahead

MAINLAND soccer champions Young Africans have failed to qualify for this year’s CAF Confederation Cup semi-final slot after poor show in the group stage of the tournament.

The team has slim chances of even winning two of its remaining matches in the series so far. It has been long since Yanga featured in the continent’s group stage phase of the CAF leagues. Experience looks to be a good teacher and so is what our representatives are lacking.

Yanga qualified to compete in the CAF group stage matches for the last time in 1998 when they rubbed shoulders with the likes of Asec Mimossas, Raja Casablanca and South Africa’s Manning Rangers. Ever since the team has been winning numerous Mainland soccer titles but failed to penetrate through the lucrative group stage phase.

CAF’s new system gave an opportunity to those teams eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League to feature in the CAF Cup through playoffs.

So Yanga cruised into the group stage but unfortunately, poor performance has been a dominant factor throughout as the side now is located at the base of the four-team standings with paltry single point.

However, the challenge is still there as Yanga will be back again to contest for the CAF Champions League preliminaries that kickoff in February, 2017. What it means here is that they have to take this opportunity after their poor show as a springboard to put up splendid show in next year’s CAF championships.

Should they maintain the same coach and high percentage of the players, we believe the team can rectify mistakes committed in this edition and make progress in the subsequent edition.

While Yanga are struggling to cope with the standard of soccer showcased by other teams, it’s high time as well for other clubs in the country to take this as a lesson.

Winning has been a tough task for Yanga at this stage of the CAF championship, but with new approach and determination, the breakthrough can be attained.

Where Yanga have reached is stage other teams should have the brave and tenacity to surpass given an opportunity to compete in the future.

Though Yanga are bowing out of the CAF Confederation Cup, we still support the team in their remaining two matches and wish them the best of luck to kill the four-match winless voodoo.

Regardless of the venue, still we give the team the benefit of doubt to post victory even in Lubumbashi where they are scheduled to play their penultimate group stage match against TP Mazembe.

A presumably tough match to win on away soil can turn out to be the easiest of the encounters. Though winning the next two matches would not guarantee Yanga’s progression into the semi-final berth, at least the team can earn more points to herald its presence in the championship.