EMMANUEL Martin’s dying minute strike earned Young Africans a hard fought 3-2 victory over Singida United in a pre-season friendly match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Zimbabwean midfielder Thaban Kamusoko gave Yanga the lead in the early opening exchange but Rwandese striker, Dany Usengimana pulled level few minutes later. The newly promoted topflight side went ahead through Simbarashe Sithole midway in the first half.
But quick fire second half goals from Amissi Tambwe and Martin gave Yanga supporters something to smile, as their team was the second best throughout the match.
Singida United under the tutelage of the former Yanga tactician and Technical Director, Dutchman Hans van der Pluijm, had themselves to blame for failure to stun the league champions, after dominating the game in both halves.
They displayed fantastic footwork and accurate passes that left Yanga players chasing their shadows. However, the visitors were wasteful, including squandering two penalty kicks.
After several near misses, Yanga who pitched their pre-season camp in Morogoro, took the lead through Kamusoko just five minutes into the game, when his set piece beat goalkeeper, Said Lubuwa but United came back into the game three minutes later through Usengimana.
The Rwandese striker nodded home a good cross from Ugandan defender Sadiq Batambuzi, after beating Haji Mwinyi to the ball and released a fine cross which Usengimana headed it into the net in-front of three Yanga defenders as keeper Benno Kokalonya dived in vain.
After some neat display, Singida United deservedly took the lead in the 23rd minute, when striker Simbarashe signed by the club from Zimbabwe side CAPS United scored easily after being put through by former Yanga winger Deus Kaseke. Yanga Zambian coach, George Lwandamina deployed several new faces in their squad, including skilled striker Ibrahim Ajib, signed from their rivals Simba.
Others were Buruani Akilimali, Raphael Daud, Abdallah Shaibu and Pius Buswita. However, Yanga were outshined in the midfield by their opponents, with Mudathir Yahya taking charge of the midfield and the game in general. Singida United nearly scored the third goal but a superb save from Kakolanya denied them a glittering opportunity.
Kakolanya showed some excellent reflexive ability to punch away Simbarashe’s fierce shot. Shortly before that attempt, Yanga had a chance to level the matter before going into the breather, when Haji Mwinyi raced clear down the left side and released a cross into the box, but Ajib failed to hit the target from a close range with keeper Lubuwa well beaten.
Singida United went into the break leading 2-1 and they ought to have been in-front by three goals but skipper Elisha Muroiwa missed a penalty awarded by referee Martin Saanya.
He shot over the bar. On the restart, Singida United continued to be on ascendency but they missed chance after chance including another penalty which was squandered by striker, Atupele Green.
His low shot was saved by newly signed Cameroonian goalkeeper, Youthe Rostand. The spot kick was awarded after central defender Abdallah Shaibu signed from Zanzibar’s Jang’ombe Boys bundled down goal bound Usengimana.
A blunder by United’s goalkeeper Lubuwa awarded Yanga an equliaser in 83rd minute, after he brought down Said Juma in the box and referee Saanya gave Yanga a spot kick which was well converted by Tambwe to make the score line 2-2.
Then, Martin scored the match winner in the extra minutes after being put through by Tambwe.