Mainland champions Simba maintained unbeaten run after being held to a 1-1 draw by their archrivals Young Africans during the first leg tie of the premiership played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The result still puts Simba at the helm of the 14-team league standings with 13 points to maintain a two-point gap over second placed Azam who have a game in hand to wind up the fifth round on Saturday.
Yanga have eight points after dropping seven in five appearances.
Yesterday’s game kicked off in an explosive pattern but it was Simba who enjoyed the better part early on when they scored after paltry three minutes.
Amri Kiemba was give all the space he needed in the world when he connected home Mwinyi Kazimoto’s goal-bound cross from the right frank.
Kiemba’s shot penetrated through Yanga defending duo before sailing into the net past their Ghanaian goalkeeper Yaw Berko to ignite celebrations among Simba fans.
Simba continued to torment Yanga goal with Edward Christopher and Jonas Mkude combining well upfront for most of the opening twenty minutes.
However, Yanga reorganised and launched a series of attacks with their defender Mbuyu Twite overlapping superbly.
There were several near misses as Yanga came close to pull an equaliser midway into the opening half but Simba defenders thwarted most of the moves.
Fielding in new sign up Paul Ngalema at the left back for the first time in the league, Simba defence looked solid and impenetrable.
Shomari Kapombe, Juma Nyoso and Said Nassor made timely clearances to deny Yanga strikers up to the half time mark.
Yanga coach Ernest Brandts replaced potential striker Hamis Kiiza for Frank Domayo, a rare substitution that was out of expectation.
The game resumed with Yanga coach in charge of the team for the first time since signing the contract over the weekend, replacing Nizar Khalfan for Didier Kavumbagu.
Yanga had a huge possession of the game as the second half got underway to keep Simba defence under intense pressure.
Yanga secured a penalty after 66 minutes when defender Ngalema handled the ball inside the box in frantic efforts to clear.
Said Bahanuzi was assigned to take the penalty and he expertly scored while sending Simba custodian Juma Kaseja to the wrong side igniting wild celebrations to their fans.
Ten minutes to time Yanga suffered a huge blow to their striking force when Simon Msuva was given marching orders after picking up the second yellow card.
Tension mounted as five compensation minutes were added but neither side scored a goal.
Simba coach Milovan Circovich said he is happy as long as his team did not lose the match and was worried after Yanga pulled the equaliser through penalty.
Yanga coach said he was worried of discipline of his players but he was relieved as they behaved well despite Msuva picking up red card in the remaining ten minutes.
Yaw Berko, Mbuyu Twite, Stephano Mwasika, Kelvin Yondani/ Juma Abdul, Nadir Haroub, Athuman Idd, Simon Msuva, Nizar Khalfan/Didier Kavumbagu, Hamis Kiiza/Frank Domayo, Saidi Bahanuzi and Haruna Niyonzima,
Coach: Ernest Brandts
Juma Kaseja, Nasoro Said, Paul Ngalema, Shomari Kapombe, Juma Nyoso, Jonas Mkude/Haruna Moshi, Mwinyi Kazimoto/ Ramadhan Chombo, Felix Sunzu, Amri Kiemba, Edward Christopher/Daniel Akuffor and Mrisho Ngasa.
Coach: Milovan Circovic
Referee: Mathew Akrama