SIMON Msuva’s 14th goal of the season ensured Young Africans took another giant stride towards winning the Mainland Premier League title by beating battling Stand United 3-2 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
Elly Khalfa’s brace and goal apiece from Amisi Tambwe and Mrisho Ngassa saw the two teams tied two-all with quarter an hour to go, but Msuva’s superb penalty shot sealed the win for Yanga, who moved seven points clear at the top of table.
With four games to play, Hans van der Pluijm’s demolition gong sit atop with 49 points from 22 outings, with their nearest rivals and defending champions Azam FC on 42 points, having played the same number of games.
For Stand United, the loss leaves them ninth on the log with 28 points out of 22 outings. Yanga head coach Pluijm picked goalkeeper Deogratius Munishi ahead of Ali Mustafa, while Andrey Coutinho also returned to the starting line-up after a long lay-off.
Mbuyi Twite joined Said Juma at the heart of Yanga defence in the absence of injured duo of Nadir Haroub and Kelvin Yondani.
There was little to separate between the two teams during the opening half, which saw plenty of attacking football from both sides.
Brazilian import Coutinho had an early chance to mark his return with a goal but his low drive from inside the box went narrowly wide. Stand United were playing a decent game and were not short of confidence.
Shengo lost the ball to Juma Abdul and Yanga right fullback launched a swift counter attack by releasing Ngassa down the right flank.
The diminutive winger raced past his marker and played in low cross that Juma and his defender failed to deal with properly and Tambwe was in the right place at the right time to tap the ball into an empty net for his tenth goal of the season. Four minutes were added on at the end of first half and with two minutes played Ngassa put Yanga ahead with a beautiful taken goal.
The wing wizard danced past one defender and played one-two with Abdul before striking the ball with the outside of his boot, leaving goalie Juma flat footed. There was still enough time for the hosts to create another chance before the breather.
This time, Msuva drew a fine save from the Stand goalkeeper with a good header off a teasing cross from Ngassa. On resumption, Yanga looked to kill off the game as they searched for the third goal.
Coutinho went close in the 52nd minute after hitting the woodwork with a stunning free-kick from outside the area. Stand United responded with Chidiebere blasting a header inches wide in the 56th minute and seven minutes later they drew the parity through Khalfa, who scored with a powerful shot from inside the box after being set up by Chidiebere.
With eleven minutes of regular time remaining, Msuva converted from the spot kick that proved to be the winner as Pluijm’s men wrapped all three points and put one hand on the coveted top flight silverware.
In the stoppage time, Chanongo wasted a clear chance to win Stand United a valuable point from the game when he charged past Twite and into the box but he blasted his shot a few inches wide with only Munishi at his mercy.
Additional reporting by AllAfrica