The only goal from Burundian Amissi Tambwe was more than enough for Yanga to earn their maiden win, which keeps them in contention at least for now pending the outcome of the Medeama versus TP Mazembe later on Sunday.
With their hopes of qualification hanging on a narrow thread, Dutch-born trainer of the Tanzania champions, Hans Van der Pluijm was adamant a wide margin scoreline could have headlined the match.
“We were a bit scared in the first half, but in the second half we stay calmed and created many chances. Unfortunately, we could not score more goals.
“Now we are waiting for the result of Medeama-Mazembe to see if we still have a chance to qualify; but whatever happens we have to fight and win the last game,” noted Van der Pluijm.
On his part, Bejaia coach Nacer Sandjak opined that the defeat was a setback for their chances and leaves them with no option than to go all out against Medeama on the final day in a fortnight.
“We took the game seriously, unfortunately we did not win. Our plans are now disturbed and we have to fight with all our power to win the last game,” he said.
The game was balanced in the opening half despite the fact that Yanga went up after only three minutes through Tambwe.
Despite the early opener, the visitors stayed calm and played aggressively leading to two attempts at goal through Zacharia Bencherifa and Soumaila Sidibe but Yanga shot stopper, Deogratius Munishi was up to the task with good saves.
Yanga forward Obrey Chirwa was the worst culprit failing to bury three clear chances in the first half and the goal curse extended through to the second half.
Back from recess, the host brought on Said Juma and Juma Mahadhi for Juma Abdul and Deus Kaseke, but it was the Algerians who almost drew level following a blunder by the homers backline three minutes later. However, Morgan Betorangal missed what was his side’s best chance to draw even.
Simon Msuva came close to doubling the lead for the homers on 59 and 64 minutes, but his efforts went wayward as his side held on to claim victory.
The Tanzanians travel to Lubumbashi in a fortnight to face Mazembe whilst Bejaia squares Medeama in Bejaia.