Yanga’s coach hopes to stun Mamelodi Sundowns in CAF CL quarterfinals

14Mar 2024
Nassir Nchimbi
The Guardian
Yanga’s coach hopes to stun Mamelodi Sundowns in CAF CL quarterfinals

YOUNG Africans SC will take on Mamelodi Sundowns in the last eight of the CAF Champions League at the end of this month.


The Tanzanian team, alias Yanga, will come into the tie after finishing second in their CAF Champions League group.

The NBC Premier League champions managed to end their campaign with eight points, finishing ahead of Algeria’s CR Belouizdad and Ghana’s Medeama SC.

They will have their work cut out against the South African champions, who won four of their six Group Stage matches and are desperate to emulate their 2016 success when they lifted their first-ever continental title.

Yanga’s head coach Miguel Gamondi says his players will need to put in more effort as he hopes to stun the African Football League holders Mamelodi Sundowns to progress to the semi-finals.

“It is my former team. I was champions with Sundowns in 2006, I have a very nice souvenir. On one hand, I am very happy to play against Sundowns, it is a team that I love because of the things you did well you always keep this feeling especially because they play the kind of football similar to us,” the gaffer noted.

The Argentine pointed out: “It is a big team and, for Yanga, it is a special moment with the biggest team. The other day I told the president that Yanga is now sitting on the table of big teams.”

“We have this ambition of being top five in Africa, you must compete and, for us, we will be at best to know which is our level,” the tactician noted.

“Sundowns like Al Al Ahly must be in the finals because they are the biggest teams. If you compare the budget of Sundowns to ours,  definitely they must be favourites.”

“Last time they bought one player from Argentina I think for $4m and we brought Guede and Okra for free in the last transfer window.”

Gamondi stated: “This is the difference and the people must understand but that doesn’t matter when the referee blows the whistle it is 11 against 11.”

“We need to fight, to put in more effort than Sundowns. As I said earlier when we played Al Ahly, the issue is a little bit handicapped by experience,” he stressed.

“All the players in Tanzania, even in the national teams, don't have this experience of playing crucial games at the top level.”

“This was the difference between us and Al Ahly in the two games. We made a mistake here and there while Al Ahly committed mistakes and won.”

Gamondi said: “Johan Cruyff always says football is a game of mistakes and sometimes this lack of experience makes you commit mistakes. But I am very positive, optimistic and we will face Sundowns and we can create a surprise."


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