The much anticipated Wiki Ya Mwananchi festival finally came to being. Tanzanian giants Yanga had their fans thronging the stadium from morning hours while the streets of Dar es Salaam were painted yellow and green. By the time the referee blew the kick off whistle, there was barely an inch of space at the stands.The atmosphere was electric.
All indications were that it was going to be a high octane match and that is exactly what we got. The coach went with a new centre back partnership, handing new singings Olwade and Amani their debuts. Kenya under 17 international Patrick Ngunyi was the surprise inclusion starting on the right hand sideof attack while Mwendwa started on the other and Patrick Otieno played behind Kapaito. Yidah and Oyugi were at the heart of the midfield while captain Juma and Omondi plied at full backs looking to guard Brian Bwire in goal from crosses.
The hosts were quick to settle into the game exchanging impressive passes at the middle of the park and they went close to taking the lead in the 9th minute after their striker Sidney beat the defence and unleashed a thunderbolt that was saved tremendously by Brian Bwire just by his left finger tip.
After settling in, the boys launched an attack of their won in the 21st minute but Erick Kapaito first touch let him down after Otieno had put him through on goal leading to the goalkeeper picking up the ball. A counter attack from there saw the hosts hit the posts after the entire defence had been beaten by the speed of the opponent’s forwards leaving matters all square as the teams headed to the break.
The second half saw the boys begin on a high as it only took two minutes for the deadlock to be broken as Otieno opened the scoring with a rocket of a strike after some impressive interplay between Juma and Kapaito on the right hand side sending the packed stadium into deafening silence.
The boys then controlled proceedings, dictating the play with goods spells of possession. Masaba came in for injured Otieno in the 57th minute and his menacing runs through the middle gave the hosts a hard time but the cutting edge in the final third was missing.
The boys were unlucky to concede a penalty in the 67th minute after Olwade handled a ball as he tried to get into the way of the cross from the opponents winger. Sibomana stepped up andscored from the resultant spot kick to tie the match.
James Mazembe came in for Ngunyi in the 73rd and added some impetus to the attack sending in some dangerous crosses that went answered. Kapaito then made way for debutant Simuyu with 8 minutes to go. James Oudu came in for Oyugi as well and the last few minute some both sides unsuccessful in the final third.
It ended in the draw leaving the boys unbeaten against Yanga in two meetings.