YOUNG Africans scaled the Vodacom Premier League summit for the first time this season with a routine 2-0 win over Azam as defending champions Simba's stuttering form continued after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Mtibwa Sugar.
Didier Kavumbagu's early effort and a second-half strike by Hamis Kiiza at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, saw Yanga leapfrog Simba after the holders suffered their first ever league defeat at the hands of Mtibwa Sugar at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro.The results means Yanga moved three points clear of Simba with 26 from 12 games while Azam remain third on 21 points from 11 games and moved two places up to rest on sixth position with 16 points after 11 outings.
There were extremely few close chances early on in the game between Yanga and Azam as both sides started the match timidly.Yanga then slowly grew in confidence and had two good chances that were, however, not exploited by Ugandan striker, Hamis Kiiza.Yanga then got the opener through Burundian striker Didier Kavumbagu, who snatched the ball from one of Azam defenders inside the box and slammed in.
Yanga could not have hoped for a better start to such an important fixture, stunning the title hopefuls Azam a goal inside the opening 6 minutes.
It was Didier Kavumbagu's six goal of the season, which moved him on top of the scoring chart.Azam's dependable goal getter, John Bocco, who was caught in an offside position on several occasions, had his first meaningful attempt midway through the first half but his lob from 25 metres was saved easily saved by Yanga keeper, Ali Mustafa.
Yanga threatened again later when a deep cross by right fullback, Rwandan Mbuyu Twite, found Kavumbagu inside the box but Azam centre back, Aggrey Morris intercepted with a header for an abortive corner kick.Azam's three-man striking force of Bocco, Hamis Mcha and Ivorian Kipre Tchetche was largely ineffective in the half because of tight marking by Yanga defence marshalled by Nadir Haroub and Kelvin Yondani.
Mcha though looked the most lethal of the Azam's striking trio thanks to his dribbling skills and incisive passes and that forced Yanga defence to be more alert whenever he was in possession. Yanga led by the lone goal at the breather.After a few more misses, Yanga got the second through Kiiza, who connected home a cross by midfielder, Athuman Idd, from the right.
Simba visited Mtibwa Sugar knowing that they needed to garner maximum points to have any chances of holding onto their top spot.There were few signs they were capable of getting anywhere near that target, however, during a first half in which Mtibwa Sugar were the more impressive of the two sides.
Mohamed Mkopi gave Mtibwa a deserved lead in the 34th minute, when he blasted home from a rebound after Kaseja had failed to hold onto a Vincent Barnabas' fierce shot from outside the area.Incensed by their team's poor performance in the opening half, Simba fans got a little rowdy as the half time whistle blew and hurled bottles at match official Judith Gamba as she walked towards the dressing rooms. Police, however, managed to contain the riot.
The frustration showed even among Simba players after the team's skipper Kaseja and Okwi were involved in verbal exchanges at the interval.Simba coach Milovan Cirkovic made two substitutions on resumption with Nassoro Masoud 'Chollo' replacing Paschal Ochieng and Mrisho Ngassa thrown into the fray in the place of ineffective Daniel Akkufor moments later.Substitute Hussein Javu sealed the win for Mtibwa in the dying minutes, capitalizing a calamitous mistake by goalkeeper Kaseja.