Lyon savour to hold Azam

22Aug 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Lyon savour to hold Azam

AFRICAN Lyon coach Bernardo Tavares, said his team is eagerly looking forward to the Mainland premier league game against holders Young Africans after holding Azam FC to a 1-1 draw in the opening match on Saturday.

Lyon will face Yanga at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday in what will be the latter’s opening match in the league.
“We will, again, face a very strong team in Yanga, we will make good strategy for sure. We know they have already watched our game against Azam but we will do our best,” Tavares revealed.

Tavares showered praises on his players for the latter’s spirited displays in the game against Azam, saying Lyon could have won the game if had made the most of its chances in the second half.

Lyon, against all odds, savoured a lone goal lead for most of the second half of the game played at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam, but Azam stepped up gear in the closing stages to draw level.

“In the second half, we got more chances and they (Azam) got chances as well. When we were leading 1-0 we had three chances that could have seen us lead 2-0…if we had led by that margin, we could have won,” he said.

Azam, Tavares disclosed, are a strong team and had several good opportunities. Lyon’s goalkeeper and the rest of the team, he noted, nevertheless, put solid display to deny their opponents.

“I saw the (the Community Shield match) between Azam and Yanga. I told my players we have a very tough game because Azam had confidence, we must fight. We had our strategy and we went for it.”

Tavares, had previously been coaching a Portuguese second division outfit of Grupo Desportivo Tourizense and took over at African Lyon last week.

Azam’s coach, Zeben Hernandez, said his team was not organised in the opening half of the match but then stepped up their game and put pressure on opponents.He said his team got several good opportunities to score but failed to make the most of the chances.

The absence of reliable central defenders, Aggrey Morris and Ivorian Serge Wawa, in the Azam defence was seriously felt in the Saturday game, given defenders, David Mwantika and Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza had trouble dealing with speedy Lyon strikers.

Azam are then scheduled to host Majimaji of Ruvuma at the same venue on Saturday and a win for the former will be crucial for their hopes of enjoying an impressive premiership spell.