21 January 2018

Tanzania: Ailing Yanga in Yet Another Tricky Test

Dar es Salaam — After their regrettable barren draw against visiting underdogs Mwadui FC last Wednesday, wobbly defending champions Young Africans have yet another chance to redeem themselves from their now all-too-frequent spates of below-par performance when they date Ruvu Shooting today in the ongoing Mainland Tanzania Premier League at the National Stadium in the city.

The Jangwani Street side's goalless draw last week left hosts of fans furious, even as reality checks in with their team now sitting on a worrying fifth with 22 points - and that is seven points behind archrival giants Simba, on top with 29 points from 13 matches.

Azam are second with 27 points followed by Mtibwa Sugar with 24 and Singida United with 23 points.

The Ice-cream makers have a chance to maintain or widen the gap on Yanga should they pass through Tanzania Prisons at Sokoine Stadium in the southern city of Mbeya.

It is a must-win match for Yanga who increasingly face pressure to get back to their winning ways and revive the fading hopes among their fans of defending the title.

But their victory may mean nothing much after all without a little prayer for bad results for their foes Simba who are in action tomorrow against Kagera Sugar at the Kaitaba Stadium.

Team captain Nadir Haroub alias Cannavaro has said he is disappointed by previous results, but was quick to point out that all the mistakes of the past have been rectified.

He vowed to put up a spirited fight. "It is a must-win match, we need to restore our winning ways in the league," he said. "We lost against Mbao and later drew against Mwadui, it is not good for us; we know it is tough match, but we need to win."

But that victory will not come on a silver platter.

Ruvu Shooting are in the danger zone - and this will be one of their fights for survival. The team is placed 15th with 11 points.

They are seeking to move up to eighth in the standings. Team striker Abdulrahman Mussa is expected to lead the demolition front.

And at Sokoine Stadium, top slot seeking Azam face a tough challenge from the correctional officers.

The Ice-cream makers head coach Cioaba Aristica is optimistic. "We are ready for the encounter, my players have trained well, and are optimistic that they will deliver the best," he said. "It will be difficult, but we have rectified all the mistakes and we are sure to come out with smiling faces."

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