Yanga held again
For the second successive game in four days, Young Africans were held to a barren draw by hosts Azam FC in a tension-packed encounter played at the scrappy Mkwakwani Stadium here, yesterday.
The hosts put up a splendid display to hold Yanga strikers who spent the first 17 minutes to make a meaningful penetration.
Azam’s Mrisho Ngasa who was playing against his former club for the first time since his record 98m/- transfer this season, was the prime target of Yanga defenders who eventually contained him from causing any havoc.
The game was confined to the midfield with both teams attempting sporadic attacks though the hosts looked determined to shock the visitors.
Temper flared as midfielders Godfrey Bonny and Athumani Idd were flashed with yellow cards in a space of a minute after the 14th, as they roughed Azam duo of Mau Bofu and Mrisho Ngasa, respectively.
Both teams were affected by profligacy as their strikers failed to utilise scoring opportunity that came their way.
Azam players and officials complained bitterly over what they though was an open penalty when their striker Ramadhan Chombo was brought down inside the box midway into the first half but referee Alanus Lwena was not interested.
Some Yanga fans tried to intimidate referee during the break but police made timely intervention to thwart the move.
The teams resumed the second half with either side searching for the opener that never materialised.
Azam lost midfield possession for major part of the second half to halt their attacks upfront as Yanga regained confidence to launch attacks.
Both teams played with tension throughout to give defence as a top priority at the expense of striking.
Yanga Serbian coach Kostadin Papic refused an interview with this reporter complaining of poor refereeing.
Azam’s Brazilian coach Itamar Amorim said his players failed to maintain the first half tempo and lost midfield possession as the second half got underway.
Both coaches confronted the match fourth official Mohamed Mkonyi for playing down to add two more minutes at the end of the game.
Azam FC: Vladmir Niyonkuru, Ibrahim Chimwanga, Mau Bofu, Aggrey ambrose, Erasto Nyoni, Mutesa Patrick, Suleiman Kassim/Jamal Mnyate, John Boko/Peter Senyonjo, Mrisho Ngasa, Salum Aboubakar/Ibrahim Mwaipopo, Ramadhan Chombo.
Coach: Itamar Amorim-Brazil
Coach: Kostadin Papic-Serbia