Haruna guides Yanga to Community Shield victory
Amavubi assistant skipper Haruna Niyonzima helped Tanzanian champions Yanga kick off the season in a perfect mood as they lifted the Community Shield match at the National Stadium on Sunday.
A second minute goal by Salum Telela was all Young Africans needed to silence Azam.
It took Telela just two minutes to send the Jangwani Street team’s fans into wild celebrations in the end-to-end match.
The midfielder latched onto a clipped pass from Juma Abdul and evaded his markers to beat goalkeeper Aishi Manula with a cool finish for his first goal of the new season.
Yanga head coach, Ernie Brandts was a happy man to see the Mainland champions clinch the Community Shield at the expense of Azam.
“It is always a big challenge to beat Azam. It’s one thing you can never underestimate, so it is a special effort by our team,” said Brandts shortly after the match. “I am very happy with the way my boys played, it’s a good start to the new season,” he added. His Azam counterpart, Stewart Hall refused to blame his players for the defeat, saying it just a slipup.
“We always knew that it would be a tough afternoon. It’s always painful to lose a match. But I’m pleased with the efforts my boys put into the game,” said Hall.
“We created many chances but we failed to turn them into goals. The defeat will force us to be more careful, more inspired and to work harder when the league starts,” the British tactician added.
Yanga started brightly and it came as no surprise when they broke the stalemate two seconds into the game. But while Yanga looked sharp in spells – with Telela and Haruna Niyonzima particularly impressive in the opening stages – Brandts may have been concerned by the ease with which Azam controlled the ball after the goal.
After conceding the goal, the ice cream makers briefly took the game to Yanga and went close several times, the culprits being John Bocco and Mcha Khamis.
They fluffed a chance to level matters in the 10th minute when Khamis broke through, only to see his close range effort narrowly miss target.
Two minutes later, Yanga survived another scare when a neat pass by Mcha was met by John Bocco just outside the box, but his shot went a few centimetres wide.
Another chance for Azam to cancel out Telela’s opener came in the 20th minute when Bocco evaded his markers, but with the goal at his mercy, he shot wide.