Reigning CECAFA Kagame Club Cup champions, Yanga, were surprisingly beaten 2-0, in Dar es Salaam, by runaway Burundian Premier League champions, Atletico Olympic Bujumbura on the opening day of the 2012 CECAFA Kagame Club Cup.

Newly appointed Yanga coach, Tom Scafelt, took charge of his maiden game for the Tanzanian Premier League side, opting to start lopsided 4-5-1 formation, with an emphasis placed on the sides directness in the turnover and effectiveness from dead-ball situations. Influential fullbacks Juma Abdul and David Luhende started on either flank, with the more progressive of the two, Luhende, encouraged to move forward in the counter. Deep-lying central midfielder, Athuman Idd, was crucial to the system, giving Yanga the option to switch the ball from left to right with speed and accuracy.

Burundian Premier League champions Atletico Olympic Bujumbura went for a flat 4-4-2 with ex-TP Mazembe striker Didier Kavumbagu the sides primary attacking weapon.

Danger from set-pieces

A largely balanced first half saw both sides struggling to maintain a period of sustained possession. The most interesting aspect of the first half came from set-piece situations. Yanga’s aggressive and repetitive set-piece routines were particularly dangerous.

With half an hour gone Yanga were awarded a succession of corner kicks and used the same corner routines, three times in a row. Kelvin Yondan, Athuma Idd and David Luhende would position themselves on the goal-line, obstructing the view of the Atletico Olympic goalkeeper. Shamte Ally would then deliver a drilled cross from the right flank, into the six yard area, Yondan and Idd would split their runs to the front and back posts, leaving Luhende to challenge for the cross in the centre of the six yard area. The creation of a congested six yard area caused the Atletico defense a problem in being able to clear their lines effectively.

Yanga open to

Aware that they needed support Uganda striker Hamis Kizza, Yanga coach Tom Scafelt tweaked his sides shape in the attacking transition, from 4-1-2-3, into a 4-4-2. Upon regaining possession Hamis Kizza would drift infield from a position on the left flank,

Rwandan Haruna Niyonzima would shuffle into the space vacated by Hamis, with Jaryson Tegete leading the line. The move helped Yanga threaten on the counter attack in the early stages of the second half.

Shamte Ally and Juma Abudl provided the main supply line on the break; Athuma Idd would receive the ball in a central position before switching play out to the right hand side for Ally and Abudl to combine and deliver crosses into the box. But as the half wore on, the quality of Yanga’s passing from deep areas became increasingly wayward.

Atletico terrorize Yanga down the left

On the sixty minute Yanga lost right back Juma Abdul to an injury, forcing Tom Scafelt into a change that would effectively result in his side losing the game. Ladislaus Mbogo would replace Abdul on the right side of Yanga’s defense, a move that offered Yanga an continued option going forward but left the Tanzanian side exposed down the left. Atletico were fully aware of Mbogo’s difficulty in 1v1 situations and targeted this for the remainder of the game.

Atletico’s first goal, in the eightieth minute, resulted from positional mistake from Mbogo, that allowed the Burundian’s to swing in a deep cross for Atletico’s Didier Kavumbagu to tap in from close range. Deep into injury time Kavumbagu doubled Atletico’s lead. A long ball from defense, behind Mbogo, left Yanga’s defense unbalanced and out of shape, and as Yaw Berko rushed off his line to close down Kavumbagu, the Congolese striker confidently chipped the ball over the Ghanaian goalkeeper to hand the Burundian champions a surprise opening day win.