‘Four-goal’ fear haunts Yanga
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TANZANIA’S only envoys in the continental class championship, Young Africans suffered a 4-0 defeat to MC Alger in Algeria on Saturday, ending their Group Stage hopes.

It was again a four-goal defeat that remained the usual tag when the club plays in the Arab land, with Egyptian and Algerian teams being the biggest punishers.

The 4-0 results, led to the envoys’ exit, but evidenced once again that the Tanzanian side has completely failed to overcome the four-goal margin defeat, the Egyptian teams such as Al Ahly, Zamalek, Ismailia and the Pharaohs (the National Team) most often recorded in their encounters with Tanzanian teams.

Arba’a, which means four in Arabic, has been threatening gesture that welcomed Tanzanian soccer teams in Arabic speaking North Africa. With Young Africans and the National team, Taifa Stars as its most victims, arba’ a threat had psychological effects in the teams, though didn’t have any scientific and technical allegiance with soccer.

However, Simba, the most successful Tanzanian team in the continental class events, seemed to have a better weapon against psychological inferiority over Egyptian teams. Simba have twice managed to clear North African hurdles by eliminating El Harrach of Algeria and Egyptian mighty Zamalek.

Yanga were close to overcome Arba’a threat in 2014 when they narrowly missed an opportunity to eliminate Al Ahly after losing a penalty shootout. Yanga sealed 1-0 win in Dar es Salaam, but a 1-0 loss in Cairo forced an aggregate 1-1 draw. It was the club’s best performance in Arab land.

The 2014 performance gave Yanga the much needed confidence and to some extent it helped to overcome the arba’s psycho threat. Previously Young Africans dates with Egyptian, Moroccan and Tunisian teams were disastrous. In 1988 for example, Yanga lost to Al Ahly 4-0 on aggregate to confirm the first Egyptian arba’a strike.

In 1992, Al Ahly eliminated Yanga again 6-1 on aggregate and again stamped another 4-0 aggregate win in 1999. However, the worst record with North African team was in CAF Champions League group stage when they suffered a 9-3 aggregate loss to Raja Casablanca.

They lost 0-6 in Casablanca before forcing a 3-3 draw in Dar es Salaam. In 2007, Yanga lost 3-0 on aggregate to Tunisian side, Esperance. Tanzania national team, Taifa Stars have suffered the worst from North Africans. Stars have never beaten Egyptians in the 10-match encounter, records show that Egypt has won 9 times and drew only once with Tanzania in 1974.

The worst ever result was 6-0 Tanzania suffered in 1987 during Afcon qualifiers. Stars also suffered triple 5-1 defeats in 1994, 2009 and 2011, while recently was a 3-0 loss to Egyptians in Cairo and 2-0 loss in Dar es Salaam in 2016. Yanga and AL Ahly have met 6 times, Yanga have won once, lost 4 times and drew once.

MC Alger managed to overturn the 1-0 away loss to Yanga by thrashing the Tanzanian envoys 4-0 in the Confederation Cup playoff return leg match at the Stade du 5 Juillet 1962 in Algiers.

Midfielder Sid Ahmed Aouedj scored a brace the 14th minute and the 90 minute of the game respectively, with the opening goal coming after the scorer connected home Walid Derrardja pass from the left wing to tap the ball past goalkeeper Deogratius Munishi to give his side the lead of the match.

After the goals Yanga tried to fight back badly targeting to pull one goal back in the second half, so they could have the away goal rule advantage but their host who had the game in their control and on the lead on 2-1 in aggregate managed to take the game out of their reach.

In the 65th minute, Zahir Zerdab beat Yanga defence to score the third goal and Aouedj netted the fourth in the 90th minute from a rebound.

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