Kostadin Papic

Mainland Premier League defending champions, Yanga, might have snatched a convincing 3-1 win over JKT Ruvu on Saturday but the former’s Serbian coach, Kostadin Papic, feels his side has yet to reach the expected form.

Yanga dominated the Saturday duel to grab the victory that saw the team draw level with rivals and league leaders, Simba, on 31 points but the latter still enjoy a better goal aggregate to continue clinging to the top spot in the standing. The Jangwani Street side, however, was made to work hard particularly in the first half as JKT Ruvu proved to be a constant threat at times and missed several good chances.

Papic said he expected the match to be tough considering that JKT Ruvu have of late been stubborn opponents to Yanga whenever the two teams meet in league games. “I expected the match to be tough because I know our opponents are tough”, he said.

Papic said his side might have grabbed the resounding win but the team’s general performance proved it still needs to work extremely hard so that it could particularly excel in the African Champions League. “I said before that Yanga is still not ready (to play competitively)…the team will be ready probably after the next two to three weeks”, he said.

Yanga lost 1-0 to JKT Ruvu in the first round match played at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro on August 21 last year, thus, the yesterday win over the Coast Region side happened to be a sweet revenge. Papic was further slightly put off by his team’s failure to fully exploit scoring chances particularly in the first half despite dominating the game, adding that Yanga could have won by a much bigger margin.

The Serbian also expressed his satisfaction on the performance of midfielder, Athuman Iddi ‘Chuji’, who played his first premier league game with the Jangwani Street side after making his way into the club during the mini-transfer window in December, last year.

Yanga had an upper hand for the better part of the Saturday game and the team’s striking force managed to tear JKT Ruvu defence apart on several occasions only to waste the chances, much to the disappointment of its fans. Despite conceding a goal, scored by JKT talismanic striker Amos Mgisa, midway through the first half, Yanga continued to display an enterprising brand of football and looked likely to draw level as time ticked by thanks to a series of dangerous attacks the team launched on JKT goal.

And, after Ugandan striker, Hamisi Kiiza, managed to score the equalizer from a spot kick midway through the second half, Yanga took the game to their opponents for the rest of the match to deservedly snatch the win. The absence of skipper and right fullback, Shadrack Nsajigwa, who is serving a three-match ban following a red card he was shown in the match against Moro United a fortnight ago, was hardly felt in Yanga on Saturday as Ibrahim Job filled in well in the position in the first half before he was substituted for Godfrey Taita early in the second half, and the latter was equally impressive.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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