The midfielder explains why the record Mainland league champions must take the domestic competition seriously after reaching the quarter-finals
The only hope remaining for Yanga SC this season is winning the Azam Shield Cup, midfielder Haruna Niyonzima has stated.
Yanga defeated Gwambina FC on Wednesday to progress to the quarter-finals and Niyonzima believes it is the only competition where they stand a chance to win it.
Yanga are fourth on the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) table with 41 points while their arch-rivals Simba SC lead the pack with 62 points. Yanga are winless in the last four matches in the Mainland league.
“We have played four matches in VPL and we drew in all and the pressure was actually visible from how we played in the first moments of the match [against Gwambina],” Niyonzima told Azam TV.
“The coaches are there we are all planning and hoping for good results in the remaining matches. This is the only hope we have this season and we are fighting hard and God-willing we will win.
“We as players are fighting to ensure the team is moving from one good step to another.”
Meanwhile, Gwambina’s captain Jacob Masawe insisted they still hold the hope of playing in the final match of the Shield Cup in the 2020/21 season.
“Our main aim was to reach the final stage but we have our own plans and God has his own plans too but we are grateful for reaching where we have so far. I believe we will be better next season than we have been this time around,” Masawe told Azam TV as well.
“We hope to achieve our sole dream of playing in the final match of this competition next year. We also pray hard that we get promoted to the Premier League in order to contest with Yanga on another level.
“We will plan well and hopefully we will achieve our targets.”
Masawe also explained how they lost to Yanga despite pressing the record VPL champions for the better part of the Wednesday contest.
“Football is a game whose results is largely determined by mistakes and we made just one and that is what Yanga needed to score,” Masawe said.
“Yanga are a big club with very experienced players and that was seen in how they took advantage of our mistake.”
Simba and the defending champions Azam FC also booked their places in the quarter-finals of the domestic competition.