Tanzanian Premier League champions Yanga SC have put one foot into the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup after edging out Rivers United 2-0 at the Godswill Akpabio stadium in Uyo.
A second half brace from Fiston Mayele earned Yanga the massive victory and will now have all the advantage heading into next weekend’s home tie in Dar es Salaam, where they will be staring at a first ever continental semi-final appearance.
“I am delighted to win because it is not easy to come to Nigeria and win. We played well and took our chances, but the game is far from over. We still have the second leg and we need to do even better to ensure we qualify,” Nasreddine Nabi, the Yanga head coach said.
Mayele broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute when he was picked out by a brilliant through ball from skipper Bakari Mwamnyeto.
The Congolese import ran to the pass before hitting it past the keeper first time.
The same pair was to work together for the second goal scored nine minutes from time, this time Mwamnyeto passing back a recycled ball from a set-piece to Mayele who made no mistake with the second goal.
The Tanzanian giants were rewarded for being the most adventurous forward and they had chances to score even from the first half.
The best of the opening 45 saw Mayele square through a ball to Stephane Aziz Ki, but the latter’s shot from close range was blocked by the keeper.
Rivers had some chances too and their best fell on skipper Nwagua Nakeberi who was put through on goal by Gideon Duru, but he could not guide the ball into the net with the keeper beaten at the backpost.
The Nigerians have their work cut out heading to Dar and they need to win at least 2-0 to stretch the game to penalties, or win by a margin of more than three goals.