Haruna assists Yanga in Dar derby
Amavubi skipper Haruna Niyonzima helped defending champions Yanga earn a point against Simba as Tanzanian giants played to a 3-3 draw in an exciting Vodacom Premier League match at the National Stadium on Sunday.
The results means Simba now are third placed in the league table with 19 points, one behind top-placed Azam FC, who beat Oljoro JKT 1-0 in Arusha on Saturday, while Yanga remain fourth with 16 points.
Azam and second-placed Mbeya City tie on 20 points, but the ice-cream makers are ahead on a goals difference.
Yanga appeared destined for a convincing win in the match dubbed battle of the titans when they took a 3-0 first half lead.
Mrisho Ngasa opened the scoring in the 15th minute for the Jangwani Street boys who appeared ready and willing to hit their traditional rivals by a cricket win.
The diminutive striker beat goalkeeper Abel Dhaira with a close range shot after he was set up by Hamis Kiiza.
Inspired by the goal, the Mainland champions never relaxed. They fluffed four chances before Kiiza made it 2-0 in the 35th minute off a throw-in by defender Mbuyu Twite.
Simba ought to have pulled one back in the 40th minute when a pass by Betram Mwombeki was met by unmarked Rama Singano just outside the penalty box, but his shot narrowly missed target. A few seconds to the breather, a shot by Kiiza came into the picture again, this time he capitalised on a defensive mix-up to beat goalie Dhaira with a tricky shot for a 3-0 half time lead.
On resumption, Simba came out a more aggressive side, displaying their traditional free-flow football to the delight of their fans at the 60,000-seater venue.
Six minutes to the hour mark, Mwombeki scored the first goal for Simba after a one-two with Joseph Owino.
Celebrations that greeted the goal had hardly died down when Owino netted the second in the 57th. Gilbert Kaze leveled matters in the 84th minute.