YOUNG Africans failed to collect maximum three points after being held to a 1-1 draw against Mbeya City at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya yesterday.
The match was essential for Yanga to win so as to bridge the gap with their traditional rivals Simba whose title race was also disrupted at Samora Machel Stadium in their 1-1 draw with debutants Lipuli on Saturday.
Both Simba and Yanga will now be eying for victory in their upcoming epic Dar es Salaam derby on April 29th this year at the National Stadium in the city.
Sports pundits in the country have already started predicting that the team which will win the clash stands a better chance of claiming the league diadem.
The Jangwani team, which started the match on a back foot posted the leading goal thanks to Raphael Daudi’s 57th-minute strike who expertly connected home Juma Abdul’s free kick.
The move was initiated by Juma Mahadhi who rounded three defenders before he was fouled by Mbeya City player Hassan Mwasapile, a few meters outside the box. Abdul, instead of shooting directly towards the goal he sent a low pass to rushing Daudi who coolly placed the ball home past Mbeya City goalkeeper, Owen Chaima.
The goal was Daudi’s first against his former club where he offered his service before crossing to the other side no wonder he did not cherish the goal.
However, composure and discipline saw City equalizing the lonely goal in the injury time through the super substitute Iddy Suleiman who was left free inside Yanga’s penalty box and he nodded home into the open net as Yanga’s goal stopper Youth Rostand momentarily moved out of his area of duty.
The goal gave energy to the already goal hungry City side who suffered a 5-0 defeat against Yanga in the first round of the top flight league at the National Stadium in the city but it was too little and too late for them to add another goal. In the 63rd minute, Ramadhani Malima was given marching orders after tackling Yusuf Mhilu who going to see keeper Chaima.
It was a big blow to the hosts as they seemed to have been disorganized playing with one man short, while at the same time, the visiting team saw it as an advantage to win. Mbeya City fans who were angered by the goal and the marching orders began attacking the referee and the Police had to intervene to disperse the angry spectators. The match had to stop for six minutes due to the unrest.
The game resumed in the 70th minute as City were using all the available football tricks to open up Yanga’s concrete defense which was well protected by experienced captain Kelvin Yondani.
In the 80th minute, Obrey Chirwa forced Chaima to make a stretching save to deny the powerful long-range shot from the Zambian import whose rebound ball was cleared to safety by Mbeya City defender.
The hosts continued to pile pressure towards Yanga territory but most of their final balls were off the intended target and easy for the Jangwani based side keeper Rostand to deal with them.
As the last whistle sounded to signal the end of the tense match, Mbeya City were happy to grab a point from their turf while the visitors left the Southern Highlands city disappointed.
With the results, Simba continues to remain at the top of the table with 59 points from 25 outings while their traditional rivals who are second on the table have bagged 48 points respectively.
Original article: Dailynews