YOUNG African's Mainland Premier League title race campaign hit a brick wall yesterday after suffering a 1-0 defeat to Lipuli FC at the Samora Stadium in Iringa yesterday.
Haruna Shamte's first half strike from a set piece condemned Yanga to their third defeat in the top flight this season. It was a sweet revenge for the hosts who lost by the same margin in their first leg game at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Despite the defeat, Yanga continued to stay top of the 20- team table with 67 points after 28 games, whereas Lipuli have 44 points from 31 encounters.
Assistant Coach, Noel Mwandila was on the stands as Head Coach Mwinyi Zahera left the club for a task with the Congolese national team in Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
The match kicked off at a cracking pace with Yanga showing intent to win from the onset. Just two minutes into the game, Papy Kabamba Tshshimbi raced to a Thabani Kamusoko's long ball but goalkeeper, Mohamed Yusuf was smart and sharp enough to collect the ball.
In the 4th minute, Lipuli striker Paul Nonga failed to make contact with a perfect cross in from Paul Ngalema. In the 16th minute, Tshishimbi fired wide three metres out, following a nice cross in from Mrisho Ngasa.
Lipuli were ahead in the 19th minute, when Shamte's set piece went direct into the back of the nets, leaving goalkeeper Klaus Kindoki diving in vain.
Yanga almost pulled level two minutes later, following a long ball in the area from Kamusoko, which resulted into a goal mouth melee but Heritier Makambo blazed wide.
The Jangwani Street lads continued to pile pressure in search for an equaliser and Faisal Salum received a cut in pass from Ngasa but his feeble shot was easily gathered by goalkeeper.
Lipuli made early changes, bringing on Sylvester Mganga for Saliboko Darwesh in the 35th minute and in the 43rd minute, Mganga almost found the back of the nets from a tight angle, forcing Kindoki to a full stretch but his shot brushed the side nets.
He was set clear by Nonga. After the break, Yanga maintained pressure in search for an equaliser. They called off Kamusoko in the 53rd minute, who was replaced by Amissi Tambwe.
In the 57th minute, Deus Kaseke will rue a missed chance, after racing clear to a well through pass from Makambo but the attacker shot straight into the waiting hands of the goalkeeper, Yusuf.
After half an hour mark, Faisal Salum set piece looked harmless but Ngasa retrieved the ball and set up Kaseke, whose close shot came off a defender.
With time running out quickly, Yanga committed more bodies in front in search for an equaliser and probably the winner but missed chance after chance.
Both teams made changes, in the 80th minute Lipuli's Zawadi Mwaiya was replaced by Issa Ngoya, while in the 82nd minute, Kaseke was replaced by Jaffar Mohammed.
With five minutes to go, Yanga introduced Haruna Moshi for Gadiel Michael, while in the 87th minute, Ally Sonso replaced Miraji Athumani for Lipuli.