DFENDING champions, Young Africans defeated defiant Stand United 3-1 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam to tie with leaders Simba on point-gain.
The 8th consecutive victory, earned Yanga 46 points, similar to their traditional rivals, Simba, but the superior goal average places the Msimbazi Street side at the helm. Simba have unassailable 38 goal difference as opposed to Yanga whose yesterday victory gave them a 27- goal difference.
The victory also helped to cement the three –team affair in the title race after Azam FC who left behind previously won their match against Mbao at Azam Complex on Sunday. Stand United who stunned leaders Simba in their 3-3 draw at the National Stadium, played classic football and looked like they would do what they did to Simba, but poor marksmanship and goalkeeper Youthe Rostand’s brilliance between the posts denied them good results.
They missed several golden chances in both halves, something that could have turned the results otherwise. Still Yanga won the match through experienced players and crafty raids, that most of the time caught Stand United defence off guard.
Goals from Yusuf Mhilu, Ibrahim Ajib and Obrey Chirwa were enough to silence Stand United yesterday. Vitalis Mayenga who netted United’s consolation goal, was among the players who sparkled in the encounter. Yanga started the match strongly and it took them just six minutes to score the opener against seemingly relaxed Stand United.
Youthful Mhilu, who played all 90 minutes, collected the ball from the flank laced clear of his marker before releasing a powerful volley that went into the far side of the nest after deflecting a Stand United defender, Ally Ally.
There was no serious reaction from United after conceding the goal, a situation that allowed Yanga to search for goals. Their efforts paid off five minutes later when Ibrahim Ajib netted the goal in the 12th minute.
The goal was initiated by overlapping defender, Gadiel Michael who raced clear on the left flank before feeding Ajib who easily placed the ball at the far side of the gaping goal. Yanga finished the first half leading 2-0.
Stand United started the second half strongly and their players proved tactically better than Yanga, especially at the midfield section. United could score many goals in this period but recklessness and hesitation at danger zone cost them dearly.
However, a fine 1-2 run right from the middle of terrain earned them a goal in the 83rd minute. Mayange netted the goal after he was put clear by Suleiman Ndikumana from the right flank.
The goal encouraged Stand United whose players moved forward in search of an equaliser, but Yanga’s counter attack punished them two minutes later. It was in the 85th minute when Obrey Chirwa netted the third goal for Yanga. Yanga have tied with Simba in points, but their rivals have one match.