Medeama out to crush Yanga, keep semifinal hopes alive

Medeama out to crush Yanga, keep semifinal hopes alive
Daniel Amoah of Medeama (l) and Amisi Tambwe of Yanga (r) during the CAF Confederation Cup football match between Young Africans and Medeama at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 16 July 2016 ©BackpagePix

by BackPageTXT

Tuesday Jul 26, 2016. 09:45

It is make or break time for Medeama SC and Young Africans in the 2016 Caf Confederations Cup, with both teams desperate for all three points as they gear themselves up for battle on Tuesday evening.

Both teams know all too well that defeat could all but end their chances of reaching the knockout stages of the continental competition; neither side managed a win in their opening three fixtures.

Medeama are in a slightly better position heading into the clash in Sekondi-Takoradi. The Ghanaian cup winners accumulated two points from their allotted fixtures thus far; a 3-1 defeat to Mazembe was followed by a 0-0 draw at home to MO Béjaïa and a 1-1 stalemate in Dar es Salaam.

Both teams were woeful in front of goal in the reverse fixture in Tanzania, but Medeama goal-minder Daniel Agyei remains upbeat about his side's chances and has urged his teammates to put in an improved performance.

"We will not make the same mistakes again," Agyei to the Ghanaian media.

"This is a crucial match for us and there has been a major emphasis on scoring in our preparations. We must win to keep alive hopes of reaching the knockout stages."

With a single point from three matches, Yanga are on the brink of elimination and will need nothing but a full compliment of points in West Africa to reignite their chances.

"When we play away, we play with little pressure; it is different from home games where we play under intensive pressure and sometimes fail to deliver to our standards," Yanga head coach Hans van der Pluijm is quoted as saying.

"We had wished to win the last two games to put us in a good chance to qualify but we could not do it. I cannot say our hopes have vanished. No! We still have chance. We have to win in Ghana to revive our hopes.

Having only scored once in their opening three matches - against Medeama last time out - Van der Pluijm has urged his attackers to up their game.

"Strikers win matches and one goal from three matches is unacceptable," the Dutch-born coach added.

"Our situation is precarious, but we cannot lose hope. Anything is possible in football and beating Medeama could close the gap behind Bejaia to a single point."

The match is scheduled to be staged at the Sekondi-Takoradi Stadium. Kick-off is at 17h00 CAT.

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