CAF Champions League: Tactical battle ends in draw as Tanzania’s Yanga hold South Africa’s Sundowns


In a clash of African football titans, Yanga and Mamelodi Sundowns battled to a tense 0-0 draw in their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Quarter-Final first-leg encounter in Dar es Salaam.

The Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, filled to capacity with 60,000 passionate fans, witnessed a spectacle as last season’s Confederation Cup finalists took on the inaugural African Football League champions.

Despite the lack of goals, the match showcased an intense display of tactical prowess from both sides. Sundowns, known for their possession-based style, dominated the ball, aiming to break down the resilient defense of their hosts. However, Yanga stood firm, launching swift counter-attacks in response to Sundowns’ pressure.

The first half saw moments of excitement as Clement Mzize had a golden opportunity for Young Africans, only to be denied by Sundowns’ goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams. Just before halftime, Teboho Mokoena’s thunderous strike nearly caught Djigui Diarra off guard, but the keeper managed to keep it out.

After the break, Yanga emerged with renewed energy, creating several scoring chances despite Sundowns’ control of possession. Mzize came close again, rising above his markers to meet a cross from Stephane Aziz Ki, but his effort narrowly missed the target.

In the 68th minute, Kennedy Musonda found himself with a one-on-one opportunity against Williams, but the Sundowns shot-stopper made a crucial save to deny the hosts the lead. As the clock ticked on, both teams remained cautious yet determined, resulting in a deadlock at the final whistle.

The evenly balanced tie sets the stage for an intriguing second leg at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld Stadium. With neither team able to secure an advantage in the first leg, the return fixture promises to be a fiercely contested battle where the winner will earn a coveted spot in the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League.

Fans can expect another thrilling encounter as Yanga and Sundowns vie for continental glory in what is sure to be a highly anticipated showdown.

Photo: CAF Online

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