Evenly balanced tie sees Yanga and Sundowns play out to a ...

18 days ago

Published: Saturday, 30 March 2024

Sundowns - Figure 1
Photo CAFOnline.com

There was nothing to separate Young Africans and Mamelodi Sundowns in Dar er Salaam on Saturday evening, as the two sides played out to a highly tactical 0-0 stalemate in their first leg Quarter-Final clash of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League.

A packed to the rafters Benjamin Mkapa Stadium saw 60 000 Tanzanians in full voice to witness last season’s TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup finalists taking on the inaugural African Football League champions.

While the fixture failed to produce a goal, the match was nothing short of entertaining as both sides gave it their all but were met with equally good defending and goalkeeping on either side.

True to their enterprising style, Sundowns kept most of the ball possession, hoping to tire out their hosts who stood their ground and responded with quick counter-attacks.

Yanga were the first to have a sniff at goal in the 27th minute when Clement Mzize was through on goal but disappointingly fired a straight shot that was easily gathered by the in-form Ronwen Williams.

With just seconds before the break, Teboho Mokoena unleashed one of his trademark long distance strikes which almost caught Djigui Diarra off guard.

Coming back from the recess, it was the hosts who had the better chances, despite Sundowns having more of the possession.

Mzize was back in the Sundowns danger area again in the 57th minute when he rose above his markers to connect with a Stephane Aziz Ki cross that went just off target with Williams rooted to the ground.

Yanga’s best opportunity came in the 68th minute when Kennedy Musonda found himself one-on-one with Williams, but it was the Sundowns shot stopper who came out top as he made the save to deny the hosts the lead.

The match continued to be a highly tactical affair, with both sides attacking with caution and defending in numbers as it ended goalless.

The two sides will meet again at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium for the return leg next weekend where the winner will be decided in what promises to be highly entertaining return fixture.

For more on the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League, CLICK HERE and follow the conversation on #TotalEnergiesCAFCL.

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