“We still have the opportunity to maintain our place in the league. We need to improve our game and we will do our best to achieve good results in the subsequent matches,” he said.
Aluko expressed hope his players have learnt from the game, adding that they will need to come up with better strategies that will help the side register wins in forthcoming games.
Yanga’s coach, Hans van Pluijm, said his team’s ability to exploit African Sports’ defensive weaknesses made the difference in the game.“Football is a game that is not short of mistakes, when opponents make mistakes, you capitalise on the weaknesses,” he said.
He also praised midfielder, Pato Ngonyani, for his stellar display throughout the match. Yanga’s goalkeeper, Ally Mustafa, was rarely called to action as the team’s defence successfully kept Sports’ attackers at bay.
Much as Yanga poured forward on several occasions during the early stages of the game, they found it difficult to register a goal.
The team eventually notched the first goal thanks to central defender, Kelvin Yondani, whose fierce shot from almost 20 meters out bounced off African Sports defender, Juma Shemvuni and sailed into the latter’s net.
Sports’ striking force led by former Simba player, Rajab Isihaka, managed to make few dangerous forays into Yanga’s penalty area but was let down by indecisiveness.
It was the 13th loss for African Sports and has left the team in the 15th position in the league standings with 15 points after 22 games.
The Tanga side has won four matches and managed draw in three games, netting paltry seven goals and leaked 26.
The team is just a spot above archrivals Coastal Union, which is languishing at the bottom of the league’s standings after having played 21 games and posted 15 points.
African Sports are next expected to play two consecutive games at their venue, Mkwakwani Stadium, and the team will need victory in the matches to stand a chance of escaping relegation to the National First Division League.
Sports will first take on Mbeya City on March 12 before facing Tanzania Prisons on March 20.