Yanga SC 1-1 Tanzania Prisons: Hosts falter vs 10-man visitors
Michael Sarpong’s debut strike was not enough to help Timu ya Wananchi get maximum points in their league opener
Young Africans SC (Yanga SC) started their Tanzania Mainland League campaign with a point after labouring to a 1-1 draw against Tanzania Prisons.
In the last 16 matches between the two sides, the 27-time league champions had managed 10 wins, drawing five and losing just once, a loss that came way in 2018. Last season, Timu ya Wananchi managed to get four points from the administrative side.
With many signings made, the hosts were keen to start on a high to reduce the pressure on them to win silverware and build momentum.
However, it was the administrative side who started the game well, and they were rewarded in the seventh minute. Yanga failed to clear their lines and the ball fell kindly to Lambert Sabiyanka, who had enough space to set himself up before unleashing a good shot that beat Farouk Shikhalo in the Yanga goal.
The lead lasted just 13 minutes as the Jangwani-based side fought hard for the equalizing goal.
Prisons defenders failed to clear a cross from the left, and the loose ball fell to new signing Michael Sarpong whose first-time shot was too much for the custodian to deal with.
Those were the only goals in the first half, as neither of the two teams could get the vital second.
After the break, Yanga came back stronger hoping to get the second goal and lead the proceedings for the first time. On their side, Tanzania Prisons ensured they did not make costly mistakes, especially at the back, and they did everything possible to keep the strikers at bay.
Their resolute defending ended with full-back Nurdin Chona getting sent off in the 85th minute after a second bookable offence. Nevertheless, they had done enough to get a point from their hosts who were desperate for a win.
In other matches played on Sunday, Namungo defeated Coastal Union by a solitary goal. The lone strike came in the 63rd minute courtesy of Blaise Bigirimana.
Newcomers Dodoma Jiji FC needed a Khamis Mcha strike with 20 minutes remaining to start their campaign in the top tier with a win at the expense of Mwadui while their fellow newbies Gwambina fell by the same margin to Biashara Mara United.
The goal was scored in the 88th minute by Friday Kelvin.
Mtibwa Sugar and Ruvu Shooting settled for a goalless draw.