Yanga fail to square up local league gaps, CAF run

19Mar 2018
The Guardian
Yanga fail to square up local league gaps, CAF run

CITY giants Young Africans SC limped out of the Africa Club championship tourney on Saturday evening with a goalless draw earned at the Gaborone Stadium of hosts Township Rollers, following the decisive 2-1 victory of the hosts in their away match in Dar es Salaam.

Just a handful of their own fans had persistently believed that the side could roll back that virtual three goal deficit as an away goal counts as two, to move to the next stage, in which case the final outcome was predictable, by and large. Plenty of head scratching and even gnashing of teeth is likely at the Jangwani Street club house but they know soccer is always this.

Still there are facets of club performance which have a way of showing up when they are not needed, that a team isn't mentally prepared for an outing at high level, on account of unnecessary relaxation at another level of competition, namely the domestic premier league. Those who watch the Mainland Premier League on a day to day basis narrate stories of deliberate failure to score against the reigning club champions under circumstances which look somewhat bizarre. This leads to cultivating an impression that 'arrangements' are often made to obtain a positive score, not just relying on 'brute' strength and technique to get three points.

Even without actual documentation of such instances, as the motivation of doing so would again be put to question, it is evident that such 'arrangements' slacken team performance when they are always on the right side of things whatever actually happened on the pitch. At the same time, those who have a grasp of how 'karma' works in daily life, when someone has conducted something wrong deliberately somewhere, it casts a shadow in activity for a while, and thus stands to lose something at some point, immediately or somewhat later. Usually bad actions don't go unpunished in 'karma' psychoanalysis, and it may thus tell where it hurts.

It is hard to say that the Botswana champion club did not seek a goal at home and was comfortable with a draw; chances are that they failed to score to keep their win clear, and were not actually focusing on what they finally obtained. It thus implied that they were within reach of losing their away game in Dar es Salaam had the home team been attentive and agile enough, but they were not. When a team is fond of making this or that arrangement so that it obtains three points on the cheap, it follows that the players will not be really pushed hard during training, as a win in the next game doesn't entirely depend on what they do on the pitch.

In that sense, even if the coach really meant to push the boys to fully prepare, the sort of limits that would usually be observed in preparing for league games would weigh on him even in a situation where pressure is far greater. In that case just a bit more effort would be squeezed from the players but not really a change of attitude from what they do on a day to day basis. It is clear this enhanced readiness, compared with Singida United match, wasn't adequate, and in the return encounter, with even greater effort, obtained a stalemate.