Nabi: Young Africans triumph ‘will be difficult’

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  • Post published:June 2, 2023

Young Africans coach Nasreddine Nabi knows how difficult it would be to overcome a one-goal deficit in the CAF Confederation Cup final second leg at USM Alger on Saturday.

The Algerians won the first leg of the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League 2-1 in Tanzania in front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 on Sunday.

Aymen Mahious gave USM a first-half lead with a header, but Fiston Mayele equalised eight minutes from the end, only for Islam Merili to put the visitors back in front almost immediately.

Before the return match at the 65,000-seat July 5 Stadium in Algiers, the Young Africans, the first Tanzanian finalists in the second-tier African competition, will be considered underdogs.

The 57-year-old Tunisian Nabi, who coached in Libya, Sudan twice, and Egypt prior to joining Young Africans two years ago, acknowledges that USM are the favourites to win the trophy.

“That is a natural reaction from the public and media given the result in Dar es Salaam, but rest assured we are not coming to Algeria for sightseeing,” he said.

“It will be difficult but not impossible to turn the tide. I cannot promise that the trophy is coming to Tanzania. I can, however, promise that as long as there is hope, we will fight.

“We have to score a minimum of two goals in Algeria to have any chance and we draw comfort from having achieved that feat away from home in both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals.

“The boys created a lot of chances last weekend despite being up against a very compact defence. This offers us hope and the outcome of the final is far from settled.”

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