YOUNG Africans pounced on the opportunity to pull three points clear at the top of the Vodacom Premier League table when they ruthlessly thumped African Lyon 4-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Red-hot Jerrsyon Tegete continued with his blistering scoring form with a first half brace to put Yanga on their way to victory before Didier Kavumbagu and Nizar Khalfan scored a goal apiece in the closing half to seal a massive win that moved 36 points on the standings.
The victory lifts Yanga clear of second-placed Azam, whilst stretching their gap with archrivals and reigning champions Simba, who drew 1-1 against JKT Oljoro last Saturday, to nine points. The defeat has, meanwhile, compounded Lyon's misery as it accelerates their slide towards the first division league next season.
Lyon remain at the foot of the 14-team table after managing nine points from 16 outings, in which they have suffered 12 defeats, drawing three and winning only two. Yanga started the match brightly, as Haruna Niyonzima and Simon Msuva combined impeccably to move and tread between the African Lyon defence.
Lyon were left chasing shadows as they could not catch or match Yanga as the league leaders' pace and attacking ability left Salum Bausi's team in their wake. Lyon suffered an early blow when striker Idd Mbaga, formerly with Yanga, was forced off barely after 12 minutes after picking up injury.
He was replaced by Yusuph Mgwao. Yanga deservedly took the lead in the 21st minute when industrious left full-back David Luhende drove in a high cross into the danger area, which was met with a powerful Jerryson Tetege's header that gave Lyon keeper Abdul Seif almost no chance.
It was all Yanga in the opening half as Lyon players failed to make much in terms of chances. Ike Bright missed an open header from six yards out and Adam Kingwande saw his effort missing the target in rare Lyon's raids. A rejuvenated Tegete doubled his side's advantage three minutes before the breather with a cheeky back-heel after Seif had only parried Msuva's fierce shot.
Bausi had criticized his side's defence and will be disappointed with their reaction to the loose ball, which allowed Tegete to pounce on a rebound unchallenged. Yanga began the second half as they had finished the first and won a penalty in the 46th minute but Seif produced a stunning save to deny Ugandan striker Hamis Kiiza from the spot kick.
Ernest Brandts' boys were at their fluent best yesterday and went close in a number of occasion only to be denied by inept finishing or some superb saves by an impressive Seif. Lyon conceded another penalty on 67 minutes, allowing Burundian Didier Kavumbagu, who had replaced two-goal hero Tegete, to plant home the third goal with an aplomb finish as he sent goalkeeper the wrong way.
And third goal effectively killed off the game, and the much-needed three points had obviously been wrapped up, but Yanga were in no mood to put their guns down, they kept probing for more goals going into the closing stage.
No wonder attacking midfielder Nizar Khalfan, coming off the bench, drilled what was the final nail in the Lyon's coffin with nine minutes to go and things went from bad to worst for Lyon when Yusuf Mpilipili was given the marching orders with second bookable offence in the final minute.
In Kagera striker Themi Felix scored an all important goal for Kagera Sugar in the 56th minute to edge Coastal Union 1-0 at Kaitaba Stadium here yesterday, reports Meddy Mulisa from Bukoba.
However, Felix was red carded in the 65th minute for arguing with referee Alex Mahigi from Mwanza. Mahigi also gave Brazilian striker Barbosa da Silva of Coastal Union red card in the 67th minute for punching defender Laban Kambani of Kagera.