Yanga tighten grip on top spot

30Dec 2018
By Guardian Reporter
Mbeya
Guardian On Sunday
Yanga tighten grip on top spot

MAINLAND Premier League leaders, Yanga, have tightened their grip on the league’s top spot with a 2-1 win over Mbeya City FC in a pulsating match that took place at the Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya yesterday.

Yanga SC players in a group picture before a recent Mainland Premier League match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

In-form striker, Heritier Makambo, struck a brace to see Yanga record 50 points from 18 games, boasting of an unbeaten spell in the league.

Yanga had expressed their intention to dictate mattes early on, given they went close on the fourth minute after midfielder Haruna Moshi picked striker Makambo with an incisive pass. Makambo outpaced Mbeya City FC defenders and attempted a lob that went off target.

Mbeya City FC replied three minute after as striker Eliud Ambokile sped past several Yanga defenders outside the area and unleashed a low right foot shot, which went off target.

Mbeya City FC came close to notch the opener on the 10th minute when hard working striker, Iddi Selemani, raced past Yanga defender Gadiel Michael on the right but his attempt from the edge of the area went over.

Makambo notched the opener for Yanga on the 16th minute, slotting in a well taken free kick by midfielder Ibrahim Ajibu from the right side.

Yanga won the free kick after Mbeya City FC defender Kenneth Kunambi fouled Michael.

Mbeya City FC had an opportunity to pull an equalizer on the 21st minute, as midfielder Mohamed Kapeta pounced on a wayward left foot shot by Ambokile outside Yanga’s area, but his volley flew over the bar..

Selemani scored an equalizer for Mbeya City FC on the 23rd minute as he arrived on time in Yanga’s area to head in a long pass by left fullback Mpoki Mwakinyuki, from the left side.

Yanga had an opportunity to restore their lead three minutes later after they won a free kick outside Mbeya City FC area. Ajibu though could only direct his effort wide.

The visitors were presented with a good opportunity on the 32nd minute as Ajibu got the better of the hosts’ defenders on the right flank and floated in a good cross, only to see striker Amissi Tambwe fail to head the ball from inside the area.

Selemani tested Yanga keeper Ramadhan Kabwili with a good free kick from the right, which he punched away on the 38th minute.
The hosts spurned an opportunity to add a second goal a minute later, when striker Franck Ikobela failed to connect home a good cross by Selemani, from inside the visitors’ area.

Makambo made it 2-1 for Yanga on the 41st minute after he connected home a long pass by right fullback Paul Godfrey with a header inside the Mbeya City FC area.

The opening 45 minutes eventually ended with Yanga leading 2-1.

Mbeya City FC defender, Ibrahim Ndunguli, had to make quick reaction to thwart Yanga’s Tambwe, who had sped into the area a minute into the second half.

Mbeya City went close twice on the 49th minute, in which a good free kick by midfielder Mohamed Samatta was weakly parried by keeper Kabwili inside the area. Forward Ambokile failed to slot the ball in.

Ikobela then failed to slot home a cross by team mate who had pounced on a rebound outside Yanga’s penalty area.

The hosts had a good opportunity on the 53rd minute, in which Ambokile attempted a bicycle kick to connect in a good cross by Selemani from inside the visitors’ area, only to see the attempt fly over.

Yanga’s defense was again under siege on the 56th minute in which Selemani floated in a cross from outside the penalty area but Ambokile arrived late and wasted the chance.

The two sides pressed forward now and then in the latter stages of the match, only to be frustrated by good defending by either side’s defenders.

Mbeya City FC got a good chance to equalize when they won a free kick from 20 meters on the 88th minute, where an effort by second half substitute Peter Mapunda went over.

In another encounter, Mtibwa Sugar brought Azam FC’s unbeaten spell to an end, notching a 2-0 win in the league’s other match that was played at the Manungu Complex in Morogoro yesterday.

Strikers Kelvin Sabato and Ally Makarani netted the goals for Mtibwa Sugar on the 15th and 81st minutes respectively to see the outfit amass 26 points from 15 games and scale up to the fourth position in the league table.