YOUNG Africans surged to the summit of the Mainland Premier League table, following a hard fought 1-0 win over relegation haunted Ruvu Shooting at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The victory saw Mwinyi Zahera charges collecting 83 points from 36 matches of their campaign with two games to go before the end of the thrilling season.
Y anga leapt above defending champions Simba, who have now dropped to second place on 82 points from 33 outings and the Jangwani Street giants must now keep their fingers crossed that Simba fail to collect eight points from their remaining five matches for Y anga to have any chance of being crowned champions.
However, the change for the top place could continue tomorrow, when Simba face Mtibwa Sugar at the same venue. A win for Simba will see them recapture the top spot on 85 points with two matches in hand compared to Y anga.
The maximum points Y anga can manage are 89 points at the end of the season and going to the penultimate round of the league, Y anga will have to beat Mbeya City to remain in contention.
Their final match of the season will be against Azam FC. Win against Ruvu Shooting yesterday, came as a perfect response for Y anga fans, following back to back defeats.
Y anga were deprived crucial three points after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Biashara United in their past league match held at Karume Stadium in Mara last Friday.
The nosedive was second consecutively for Y anga who were the victims of 2-0 humiliation imposed to them by Lipuli FC in the second semifinal match of the Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) held at Samora Stadium in Iringa about a week ago.
It was a strong start for Y anga, who showed intent to win from the onset. They pushed Ruvu Shooting defenders to the limit, fashioning several scoring chances in the early opening exchanges.
Just four minutes into the game, Ruvu Shooting missed a clear scoring chance after Fully Maganga penetrated Y anga defence and beat goalkeeper, Klaus Kindoki but Kelvin Y ondani rushed to rescue the situation, clearing the ball before it crossed the goal line.
Y anga were rewarded in the 16th minute, when Congolese midfielder, Papy Tshishimbi latched onto a clever pass from Deus Kaseke, to bury the ball beneath goalkeeper, Abdallah Rashid for Y anga’s opener, his fourth of the campaign.
After the goal, Y anga kept on attacking in search for more goals and ought to have doubled their lead in the 20th minute, when Juma Abdul’s well taken set piece flew inches from the target. A minute later, former Y anga striker Emmanuel Martin dribbled past a number of Y anga defenders, before unleashing a power packed shot that was brilliantly gathered by goalkeeper, Klaus Kindoki.
After half an hour mark, Y anga missed a clear chance to extend the lead. Striker, Heritier Makambo raced onto a long pass down the left from Haji Mwinyi, and the Congolese striker forced his way into the box but his powerful left shot came off the top bar but Raphael Daud fired wide from a rebound.
Y anga maintained pressure but continued to waste chance after chance. Ruvu Shooting also threatened but could not create clear cut scoring chances.
Emmanuel Martin, a former Y anga attacker looked sharp and likely to harm his former employer. After the break, Ruvu Shooting who are battling relegation came strong with attacker Khamis Mcha introduced and the former Azam player re-ignited the host.
Coach Zahera had to reshuffle his side especially the midfield by introducing skipper Ibrahim Ajib and Thabani Kamusoko for Juma Abdul and Raphael Daud respectively. In the 54th minute, Mcha almost beat Kindoki with a clever low shot but the Congolese goalie stretched to tip his shot wide.
Then, in the 59th minute, Makambo’s shot was brilliantly gathered by goalie. In the 90th minute, referee Charles Manyama muted as Y anga shouted for penalty as it appeared that Makambo was tripped inside the box.
Ruvu are now placed 14th with 42 points from 36 matches.