m_Haruna, Mbuyu play important role as Yanga beat Al Ahly

Haruna Niyonzima

AMAVUBI duo of Mbuyu Twite and skipper Haruna Niyonzima played an important role to see Tanzanian giants Young Africans outsmart defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt 1-0 in a Champions League first round, first leg match played on Saturday.

Defender Nadir Haroub headed home a Simon Msuva corner-kick in the 83rd minute. Yanga could have won with a wider margin had their strikers been more alert.

Al Ahly, who have won the title eight times, played a defensive game throughout as if they were just looking for a draw.

The margin makes Yanga to be in a difficult situation in the return leg set for Cairo next Sunday.

The return leg will be tough for Yanga  the side has never defeated their opponents in Cairo.

Yanga have lost three matches that they have played in Cairo. In 1982, Al Ahly hammered Yanga 5-0 in the Champions League tie first leg before drawing 1-1 in the return in Dar es Salaam.

In 1988, Yanga held them to a goalless draw in the first leg match at Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza before Al Ahly punished them 4-0 in the return leg in Cairo.

In 2009, Yanga were again defeated 1-0 in the return leg match played in Dar es Salaam. The Egyptian side had won 3-0 in Cairo.

Al Ahly might have recently won the the Africa Super Cup, but the home team knocked the ball around and played with determination, driven forward by their stars including Amavubi pair of defender Mbuyu and midfielder Haruna, Emmanuel Okwi, Hamis Kizza and Mrisho Ngasa.

Al Ahly were mostly on the back foot and had to defend in numbers for most of the game, which sets up an exciting return leg in Cairo next weekend.