Holders Young Africans needed just a goal to beat hard fighting Ruvu Shooting in their return leg match of the Mainland premiership played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
After a barren first half that saw Yanga’s Ugandan import Khamis Kiiza missing a penalty saved by Ruvu Shooting’s goalkeeper Benjamin Haule, Davies Mwape secured a gift lucky goal at the start of the second half to decide the match.
The victory was enough to lift his team into a neck to neck 37-point mark at the top of the standings table though rivals samba have a slight advantage of one goal to lead the standings.
Yanga won the match but laboured to contain the dazzling Ruvu Shooting side that showed a lot pf determination throughout the game.
Yanga will have to reshape its defensive line-up as Athumani Idd and Nadir Haroub misfired several times only for Ruvu shooting’s poor finish that saved the holders from conceding a goal.
Mwape was found kissing the turf inside the box after 26 minutes for the referee to decide a disputed penalty.
However Ruvu Shooting’s goalkeeper Haule rose to his feet to calm his defenders to stop the protest while assuring he would save the shot no matter who kicks it.
It was highly dramatic as Haule stood firm between the posts to parry into safety Kiiza’s penalty mush to the amazement of spectators.
The match resumed as Shooting reorganized their midfield to feed its strikers upfront as Yanga defenders worked above the call of duty to thwart attacks.
The teams progressed into the dressing rooms while deadlocked. Then Mwape scored as the second half kicked off to separate the teams.
The seventeenth round winds up today with a match between blood brothers Kagera and Mtibwa Sugar at the Kaitaba Stadium.
Benjamin Haule, Nyambise Idd, Paul Ngalema, Kassim Linde/ Philip Kyara, Ibrahim Job, Ayoub Kitala, Michael Pius, Baraka Jafar, Mohamed Kijuso/ Abdallah Juma, Raphael Kyara/Abraham Abraham,
Shaaban Kado, Stephano Mwasika, Juma Seif, Nadir Haroub, Athumani idd, Haruna Miyonzima, Kenneth Assamoah/Jerry Tegete, Omega Seme/Shamte Ali, Davies Mwape, Hamis Kiiza.