Yanga brought down to earth as USM Alger gain first leg advantage after winning in Dar

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CAF CONFEDERATION CUP: Yanga brought down to earth as USM Alger gain first leg advantage after winning in Dar

Joel Omotto 18:00 - 28.05.2023

The Tanzanian champions have a big task in Algeria as they have to score at least twice to overturn the deficit and win the title

Yanga were brought down to earth following a 2-1 loss to USM Alger of Algeria in the CAF Confederation Cup final first leg at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

Fiston Mayele had shown why he is the most sought after striker in Africa when he scored a brilliant goal as Yanga thought they had levelled the scores with less than 10 minutes to go but USM Alger cut their celebrations instantly.

Aymen Mahious gave USM Alger a 32nd minute lead when he headed in Brahim Benzaza’s freekick at the near post but with the visitors holding on to win the game, Mayele scored a stunning goal to bring the scores level in the 82nd minute.

The Congolese striker received a pass in the box, took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable volley in the bottom left corner to bring the stadium on its feet.

However, just a minute later, USM Alger responded. The Yanga defenders failed to close down their markers, allowing Khaled Bousseliou to weave his way in the box before he passed to Islam Merili and the midfielder slotted in to cut the home supporters’ celebrations.

The Tanzanian giants went into the match high on confidence but found the going tough at their own backyard as they struggled to get going on the slippery pitch following a heavy downpour in the city.

Yanga goalkeeper Djigui Diarra was forced into an early good save one-on-one before Kibwana Shomari drew a good save with the home side’s first attempt on goal.

Mayele then came close on two occasions before his strike partner Aziz Ki also tested the goalkeeper as the first half wore on.

The second half did not witness much action on either side’s goal before Mayele’s strike and Merili’s goal late on.

It is Yanga’s first loss at home in continental matches since October 2019 and it has huge implications since they will have to win by at least two goals in the return match in Algiers next week given USM Alger have two away goals.