Yanga, USM Alger clash for CAF Confederation Cup crown

FOOTBALL Yanga, USM Alger clash for CAF Confederation Cup crown

Festus Chuma 12:22 - 28.05.2023

Tanzania's Young Africans and Algeria's USMA are both looking to make history.

Tanzanian giants Yanga will take on USM Alger of Algeria in the first leg of the 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup final in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is scheduled for 16h00 EAT and will be broadcast live on SuperSport and other major television channels across the continent and beyond.

Having seen off Marumo Gallants and ASEC Mimosas in the semifinals, respectively, Yanga and USM Alger have the honour of competing for Africa's second-tier competition prize and a place in the CAF Super Cup final next year.

Timu Ya Mwananchi will be appearing in the Confederation Cup final for the first time, and they will be determined to be the first Tanzanian team to win an African title.

Yanga will be hoping home advantage and normal conditions count in their favour, and they will be expected to play their usual attacking game against the USM Alger side.

“We want to make the best of our home advantage and win the game here. We are glad that the fans have bought tickets in their numbers and their encouragement from the stands will push us to success,” said Yanga coach Nasreddine Nabbi.

That being said, Nabi says they will not be taking their opponents lightly as Yanga goes in search of their maiden continental title.

“We divided our preparation in three parts; the first one is the physical readiness of the players, the second one is studying the opponent and knowing their strengths and weaknesses and the third is to create a good game plan to win this match. We have done that well and we are ready,” the coach noted.

Meanwhile, USM Alger coach Abdelhak Benchikha hopes to go past Yanga and pick a comfortable advantage ahead of the second leg.

“We have not come here to defend. We came to play football and we will play the same way we will play in Algeria,” the tactician said, speaking in Saturday’s pre-match press conference.

USM Alger know an away goal would leave their opponents needing to score three times, and the coach knows if they contain Yanga away everything will be easy in return match at Algiers.

“The final is 50-50. We are Algerians and we never fear anyone. We also know that there is a second match to play and we should be on the pitch with that in mind,” the coach added.

USM are the fourth Algerian club to reach the Confederation Cup final, with the other three all falling at the last hurdle.

The Algerian side playing away first has lifted the trophy 10 times in 16 two-leg finals before the format was changed to a single match for three seasons from 2020.