Home Sport Rampant Young Africans eliminate Marumo Gallants from CAF Confederation Cup

Rampant Young Africans eliminate Marumo Gallants from CAF Confederation Cup

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Marumo Gallants’ fairytale continental run ended on Wednesday when they were eliminated from the CAF Confederation Cup by Young Africans.

Marumo Gallants players look dejected after their CAF Confederation Cup game against and Young Africans at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Wednesday
Marumo Gallants players look dejected after their CAF Confederation Cup game against and Young Africans at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Wednesday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Johannesburg — The fairytale continental run did not have the happy ending that Marumo Gallants’ showing in the CAF Confederation Cup had seemed to deserve.

Instead, the run that belied their domestic performances ended in a deflating defeat that could well leave them seriously vulnerable ahead of their final match of the DStv Premiership season.

Gallants were soundly beaten by Young Africans at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Place in a second leg semi-final clash that had been rendered somewhat academic by the 2-0 defeat they suffered in the first leg.

But such had been Marumo’s impressive performances in the competition that there was some glimmer of hope that they could turn things around. Last night though, the lights went out on Raymond Mdaka’s side, their failure to make use of the chances they created proving their undoing as Yanga took advantage of theirs.

Just as it was in the first leg last week, Gallants created scoring opportunities that could have seen them make a contest of the tie. But the South African outfit failed to find the net and lived to rue those missed chances.

The home side enjoyed a good quarter-hour spell between the 20th and 35th minute when they could have gotten themselves back into the tie, but a combination of misaligned shooting as well as some brilliant goalkeeping by the visitors proved to be their undoing.

On 20 minutes, a good free-kick floated into the box saw Mpho Mvelase clattering into it instead of connecting with the ball. Somewhat encouraged by that chance, Gallants pressed matters and brilliant interplay five minutes later saw them create a fantastic chance on the edge of the box. Ranga Chivaviro uncharacteristically skied the ball into the stands when the gaping net looked much more inviting.

As if not to be outdone by his teammates, Lesiba Nku had his own miss on 27 minutes – the winger shooting way wide after being sent through by Mvelase.

Having survived that mini onslaught, Yanga managed to fashion forays of their own into the enemy territory but initially found Washington Arubi in an uncompromising mood. The former Zimbabwean international pulled off a good save to deny Tuisila Kisinda on 38 minutes and then parried away a dangerous looking free-kick on 40 minutes.

Yanga kept coming and after stealing possession in their own half they launched an attack that saw Fiston Mayele flying goalwards. The on-rushing Arubi managed to get a touch of the ball from Mayele’s initial shot but it was not enough to misdirect the ball and the Congolese tapped the loose ball into the net, leaving Gallants with the near impossible task of having to score four goals to win.

Gallants returned from the break ready to fight and they actually found the net via a Chivaviro header but the striker was in an offside position and the goal did not stand.

Soon, Kennedy Musonda was sealing Yanga’s resounding victory by blasting into the net after a cross by Mayele.

Chivaviro pulled one back late in the match but it was merely a consolation.

Gallants now have to fight for their Premiership lives, needing to get something out of their clash with Swallows on Saturday to avoid relegation or even going into the play-offs. It will be interesting to see just how much of an impact this defeat by Yanga will have on their confidence.

@Tshiliboy

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