…. Krmpotic cherishes away win
BALLY Niyonzima netted the solitary goal as Azam FC regained their grip of the Mainland Premier League top spot with a 1-0 win over Mbeya City at the Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya yesterday.
It was a third straight victory for the ‘ice cream makers’, meaning they have posted 100 per cent in their opening three outings as they enjoy the driver’s seat on nine points.
Azam leapfrogged Young Africans, who temporarily went top of the table on seven points from three outings, following their hard fought 1-0 win over Kagera Sugar at the Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba last Saturday.
Rwandese midfielder, Niyonzima opened his account with a sublime finish in the 24th minute, when his header inside 18 metres precisely beat the goalkeeper.
Mbeya City remained glued at the bottom of the table without a point from three matches. They lost 4-0 to KMC in their opening encounter of the season, before surrendering 1-0 to Yanga.
Meanwhile, Young Africans Head Coach Zlatko Krmpotic hailed his side after a hard fought 1-0 win over Kagera Sugar at Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba last Saturday.
A second half goal from Congo DR midfielder Mukoko Tonombe was enough to give Yanga much needed three points from seemingly a very tough pitch over a tough opponent.
A good partnership between Tuisila Kisinda and his Congolese counterpart Tonombe paid off well for the visitors even though Yanga are still struggling to find the team’s chemistry.
It was the second back to back win for the Jangwani Street based lads who prior to that beat Mbeya City by the same goal margin at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
On the day, it was defender Lamine Moro whose glancing header in the final minutes of the match secured the win for the hosts.
During a post-match briefing, Krmpotic congratulated his charges for the job well done ahead of their next match against Mtibwa Sugar on Sunday at Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro.
“It was a difficult game but I am glad that we have managed to win. I think we still have more time to be together and perform even better than we have done,” he said.
His captain Deus Kaseke was also full of praise to his colleagues for excelling to pocket maximum three points from the tense match.
“As you know, Kagera Sugar is one of the best teams in the league but we came here with the mentality to win and that is exactly which happened.
On behalf of my colleagues, we are happy for the outcome,” Kaseke, who was introduced in the second half said.
On his part, Kagera Sugar Head Coach Mecky Mexime conceded the defeat, saying his opponents were much better than his team.
“It is evident that we have started the season on the back foot as we have lost two matches in three but all is not lost as there are still more games to play and I am hopeful to do better in our next game,” Mexime said.
During last season clashes between the two sides, Kagera Sugar lost 1-0 at their artificial turf in Bukoba but they managed to stamp a heavy 3-0 win against Yanga at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
In another development, Yanga's Kit and Merchandise suppliers GSM have appealed for patience from the team members and supporters while admitting that the team’s pattern of play was yet to click.
“In terms of playing, we are still having challenges but in competitive football, what matters is to win and pocket maximum three points and nothing else,” said GSM's Director of Investment Hersi Said.