YOUNG Africans finally have joined the class of the Vodacom Premier League elites following a narrow 1-0 away win against Njombe Mji FC at Saba Saba School ground in Njombe.
The goal which came courtesy of Ibrahim Ajib’s 16th minute blockbuster outside from a free kick helped the Jangwani Street Boys to return home with maximum three points and consequently join Simba SC and Azam FC who are all tied on four points, but the Msimbazi based team are better placed at the second position with superior number of goals.
Njombe have remained at the bottom of the table pointless. Yanga started the game on high foot, looking better than the hosts as they wanted to take an early lead and perhaps win the encounter. As usual, the front-line of the defending champs comprising Donald Ngoma and Ibrahim Ajib on several occasions caused panic to Njombe Mji defenders, but much of their chances went off the target.
The waited moment for Yanga fans eventually came in the 16th minute when Ajibu’s magic long range shot went straight behind the Njombe Mji’s net. It was a good goal that sent Young African supporters wild.
It was Ajibu’s first league goal of this season since joining the team after he joined in the winding stages of the transfer window.
Ending the first with the lead was rather a digestible outcome even though Yanga’s head coach George Lwandamina had much to instruct his charges on what to do in the second half so as to avoid conceding the goal that would deny them the much needed win.
Yanga skipper Thabani Kamusoko limped off pitch in the 48th minute after picking up an injury, and he was substituted by ex-Mbeya City defensive midfielder, Raphael Daud hence the captaincy armband was won by veteran defender Kelvin Yondani for the remainder of the clash.
However, the hosting side were not shy to penetrate into the holders’ danger zone as they mostly used their wingers running away from heavily congested centre of the defending champions as Papy Tshishimbi was seen executing perfectly his midfield roles.
The hosts Njombe City regained composure following the absence of Kamusoko and striker Donald Ngoma to start creating series of raids that however, lacked means to find the net.
Yanga held on to win 1-0 at the end. At the end of the weekend’s kick-offs, Mtibwa Sugar have now claimed the Premier League helm with 6 points following their 1-0 win over Mwadui at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro.
Holders Young Africans who defeated debutants Njombe Mji 1-0 now tie with their Dar es Salaam rivals Simba and Azam on 4-point table, but superior goal advantage heightens Simba above the rivals at the standings. League debutants, Singida United grabbed their first three points after beating Mbao FC 2-1 in a thrilling encounter held yesterday at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma.
Elsewhere, Mbeya City suffered a 1-0 defeat to Ndanda FC in a thrilling encounter at Sokoine stadium. Ndanda scored the winner in the early minutes and held it on to the final whistle. Kagera Sugar survived early minute scare to force a 1-1 draw with Ruvu Shooting at Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba.
Ruvu Shooting, who suffered a humiliating 7-0 loss in the premiership opener, fought bravery to defend the slim lead before hosts Kagera Sugar equalized in late minutes of the second half.