Young Africans of Tanzania, now the country's only club left active in this year's Champions League and Confederation Cup soccer tourneys in Africa, will have to beat off their longstanding jitters and jinx to conjure up a miracle.
When the Young Africans, locally known as Yanga, meet Esperance of Tunisia two weeks from now in Mwanza of northern Tanzania, they face not only a potentially backfiring home crowd but also a record of winless games against clubs from the Maghreb and other north African countries.
In 1973, Yanga suffered a 2-1 home defeat though managed a 1-1 draw with El Merreikh of the Sudan.
In 1982, Yanga settled for a one-all home draw but was whitewashed 5-0 by Al-Ahly of Egypt.
In 1988 playing the same Egyptian club again, the Young Africans succumbed to a 4-0 away defeat and a barren tie at home.
In 1992, Yanga went 2-0 down to Ismaili of Egypt at home and managed to pull away a 1-1 draw in Cairo.
In 1998, Yanga did not score a single goal in their home-and-away matches against Raja Casablanca of Morocco before quitting that year's Champions League with a 6-0 record sheet.
In 2000, the Young Africans settled down for a 1-1 draw at home after suffering a 4-0 loss to Zamalek of Egypt.