RUN-AWAY leaders Young Africans will be out to extend their lead at the top of the Mainland Premier League, when they face a tricky assignment against Mtibwa Sugar at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this evening.
Yanga saw their five-point lead at the helm of the top-tier league cut down to two, by Stewart Hall's Azam FC, who thrashed relegation threatened Toto African of Mwanza 3-1 at Chamazi Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
Ahead of the usually adrenaline-fuelled affair with Mtibwa Sugar, Dutch coach Ernie Brandts will have to ensure that his charges are at their best to record any meaningful results against the Morogoro based side in a match to be officiated by Ronald Swai from Arusha.
Yanga suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of Mtibwa in their first round match at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro in September last year. The Jangwani Street lads were com- pletely outmanned and outfought in a bruising encounter.
In fact, it was this defeat that spurred crisis at the club with former coach, Belgian, Tom Saintfiet forced to be shown an exit door. Saintfiet lambasted his players for their poor attitude after they slipped to an embarrassing defeat but it was unfortunate that he was the one who had to pay the price at the end of it all.
And, nothing less than a win will appease Yanga fans today, who will also be eager to see their team avenge the defeat and cement their grip on the drivers' seat. Reports of hostility between two strikers at Yanga Burundian Didier Kavumbagu and in-form Jerryson Tegete emerged as shocking, but the duo have to put all their problems aside and help their team put on outstanding performance against Mtibwa Sugar.
It was reported by a section of local media that the duo traded bitter words in training as fight for a starting role between them heats up. It remains for Dutch coach to decide who will start today, but looking at how things have been unfolding in the past few weeks, Tegete will be a preferred choice to Kavumbagu.
The former Taifa Stars hit-man netted two goals in their last Sun- day's 3-1 victory against Mbeya's Prisons at the National Sta- dium. He was also toast of things during Yanga's tour of Turkey, where he scored a couple of goals as well.
However, Kavumbagu is a top scorer in the league with eight goals so far and with such statistics it promises nothing but stiff competition for the two. Youthful winger Simon Msuva, midfielder Haruna Niyonz- ima and striker Said Bahanuzi will also be key figures to Yan- ga's quest for maximum points today.
At the back Yanga will be marshalled by Kelvin Yondani, Nadir Haroub and Mbuyu Twite. Mtibwa Sugar are expected to come strong suffering a shocking 1-0 defeat to rejuvenated Polisi Morogoro in their opening match of the second round at the Manungu ground last Saturday.
The Mtibwa will also be full equipped with big names such as holding midfielder Shaaban Nditi and attacking midfielder Shaaban Kisiga to confront Yanga. Other matches of the day will see bottom side, Polisi Morogoro entertain African Lyon at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro and debutant Mgambo Shooting will square up against Ruvu Shooting.
Tomorrow, defending champions Simba will welcome JKT Ruvu at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, while Coastal Union will play host to Tanzania Prisons at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga.
Meanwhile, Villa Squad and Moro United will face off to- day in the First Division League match at the Karume Memo- rial Stadium in Dar es Salaam. This will be one of the group B matches as the league enters into its second round.