Tanzania’s Young Africans (Yanga SC) failed to clinch the Caf Confederation Cup trophy despite defeating USM Alger 1-0 in the return leg final at a packed Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers on Saturday night.
The Jangwani-based giants put on a solid display to win the away contest courtesy of Djuma Shabani’s penalty in the seventh minute but it was not enough as the Algerian outfit created history by lifting their first-ever continental title on the away goals rule.
USM’s 2-2 aggregate score, courtesy of their 2-1 first-leg victory at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Sunday, secured them the coveted trophy.
Yanga got off to a perfect start when they were awarded a penalty with only seven minutes played after Saadi Radouani’s clumsy challenge on Kennedy Musonda and it was Shabani, who stepped up to confidently convert the spot-kick, sending the goalkeeper Oussama Benbot the wrong way.
In the 30th minute, USM came agonizingly close to equalising when Aimen Mahious rose to meet a cross from Khaled Bousseliou, but his header narrowly missed the target.
In the second half, USM were awarded a penalty but captain Zineddine Belaid saw his effort saved by Yanga custodian Djigui Diarra, who produced a brilliant double save, denying Belaid’s penalty before recovering swiftly to block Abderrahmane Meziane’s rebound effort.
Though Yanga kept attacking for a second led by forward Fiston Mayele, who twice missed the target, USM stood firm, preserving their rear guard to ensure the trophy stayed in the Algerian capital.