YOUNG Africans left Dar es Salaam full throttle yesterday ahead of their tricky Mainland Premier League fixture against Lipuli FC set at Iringa’s Samora Stadium tomorrow.
It will be Yanga’s 28th match of the season which will see them reaching 70 points only if they manage to derail Lipuli, who have been doing well at their home turf.
Currently, the Jangwani outfit stay glued at the top slot of the 20-team table with 67 points after playing 27 games, whereas their next opponents Lipuli are fifth on the table with 39 points from 30 encounters.
Yanga go to Iringa head up after attaining six points from their past two matches, They saw off Alliance FC with 1-0 win at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza before silencing KMC 2-1 at the National Stadium on Sunday.
On the other hand, Lipuli have gained one point from two past league matches as they lost 2-0 to Kagera Sugar prior to being held to a scoreless draw by Mbao FC at Samora Stadium last week.
However, Yanga’s Assistant Coach Noel Mwandila will be in charge of the team tomorrow as its Head Coach Mwinyi Zahera has travelled to his native country DR Congo to take up national football team’s responsibilities.
Third placed DR Congo with six points will host second slot occupants Liberia with seven points in their last match of group G Africa Cup of the Nations (AFCON) qualifiers, while leaders Zimbabwe with eight points take on Congo, who have garnered five points respectively.
Speaking here yesterday, Yanga’s Communication Officer Dismas Ten said the injury free contingent of 20 players including eight technical bench members is in vibrant mood to continue winning games and stand a good chance of claiming the title at the end of the campaign.
“We know that Lipuli is a good team especially when playing at their backyard as such, we have seen it necessary to leave early and have ample time of preparations there,” Ten said.
Asked if the absence of Zahera will have a negative impact on the day, Ten responded that it is not the first time for him (Zahera) to miss a league match since he did the same when they played against African Lyon in Arusha where Yanga won.
“He has left his game plan in the hands of Mwandila and everything will be executed according to the available plan,” disclosed Ten.
He added that every league match for them is crucial to grab three points to keep firm at the top seat of the log.
Lipuli’s undefeated home run against defending champions Simba was broken recently when they suffered a humiliating 3-1 loss.
Under the guidance of Selemani Matola, the Iringa based side have been a thorn in fresh for league giants mainly at their turf where emerging unhurt has been difficult.
Azam salvaged a point after being held to a 1-1 draw at Samora Stadium this season and all eyes are now at Yanga to see whether they will come out clean from the difficult venue.