Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – YOUNG Africans have been dealt a huge blow ahead of the crucial return leg match of the CAF Confederation Cup against Dedebit of Ethiopia as two key players Stephano Mwasika and Nurdin Bakari will miss the match in Addis Ababa.

Yanga Spokesperson Louis Sendeu revealed in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the Jangwani Street outfit jet off tomorrow for Ethiopia without dependable left back Mwasika who is recuperating from malaria.

Sendeu said midfielder maestro Nurdin Bakari, who is nursing a leg injury, has also been ruled out of the squad to face Dedebit. Sedeu said the absence of the two players was a massive blow but said his team was determined to beat their opponents at their own turfs and qualify for the next first round.

Yanga could only manage a 4-4 draw with the Ethiopian side in the first leg tie played at the National Stadium in the city on January 29. They need a win of at least one goal or a draw of five goals so as to qualify for the next round.

Sendeu said: “We are confident that we’ll triumph in Addis Ababa and qualify to the next stage of the continental championship. The team is in good form under the new coach, although I must declare that the absence of Mwasika and Nurdin is a huge blow.”

While young defender Abuu Zuberi is expected to fill the void in the left back, it is waited to see how new head coach Sam Timbe would plug a huge gap left by versatile Nurdini Bakari who has proved to be key in the absence of embattled midfield Athumani Idd ‘Chuji’.

The former champions have of recent been embroiled on leadership crisis that has also affected their performance. They continued to suffer from their off-field problems, with yet another disappointing result after battling to a barren draw with Majimaji of Songea over the weekend, only to see their top spot stolen by archrivals and title challengers Simba.

However, their preparations for the Dedebit game at least received a considerable boost on Monday when they welcomed Timbe, who officially started his duties on the day, after signing a three-month contract with the embattled club.

The former coach of Rwandan side Atraco took over from Kostadin Papic who quit last month after falling out with club leadership. The Ugandan believes Yanga have what it takes to beat Dedebit at home and seal a place in the first round of the continental second tier.

Source: IPP Media