Voice of Sport

Yanga virtually there as Rayon Sports win title in Rwanda

Simba cannot deny Young Africans the Tanzania title unless they thrash Mwadui 12-0 on Saturday. In Rwanda, Rayon Sports win championship with four matchers to spare

Crying out for Yanga dominance: Zambia coach George Lwandamina had a difficult beginning at Dar es Salaam giants, Young Africans, but will see them to their third title in a row and a return to the Africa Champions League. The Tanzania Vodacom Premier League closes on Saturday and second-placed bitter rivals Simba just can’t catch Yanga
Dar es Salaam’s Young Africans, 2016/17 season, 22-time champions of Tanzania’s Premier League

Dar es Salaam’s Young Africans, 2016/17 season, 22-time champions of Tanzania Premier League

YOUNG Africans of Dar es Salaam were on Tuesday evening all but the Tanzania Vodacom Premier League champions as Rayon Sports of Kigali were on Wednesday crowned the 2016/17 Azam Rwanda Premier League winners, their eighth league trophy in their history.

In Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, Yanga beat strugglers Toto Africans from Mwanza, west of the country, at the National Stadium. Yanga reached 68 points with a match to go. Second-placed bitter rivals Simba (65) could only foil Yanga’s celebration with a 12-0 win over Mwadui in their last game on Saturday.

That would be the only way Simba would equal Yanga on points and goal difference and win the title for having scored more goals (60) in the rare deadlock. Simba are not going to get a 12-0 win over Mwadui. And, in any case, Yanga only need to avoid defeat against Mbao on Saturday to win the title outright, their third in a row and record 22nd.

Rwanda international Hamisi Tambwe after scoring in Yanga’s 1-0 win over Toto Africa in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday

Rwanda international Hamisi Tambwe after scoring in Yanga’s 1-0 win over Toto Africa in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday

Happy times at end of season … Yanga celebrate another league win en route to third title in a row

Happy times at end of season … Yanga celebrate another fixture win en route to third title in a row

In Rwanda, a win against Mukura Victory SC at Stade de Kigali [Nyamirambo] on Wednesday would officially make league leaders, Rayon Sports the 2016/17 champions. Before the Wednesday fixture, “The Blues” were 10 points clear [of second-paced APR] on top of the table. Knowing that victory would see them open a 13-point gap with only four games remaining to  the end of the season,  coach Massoud Irambona Djuma‘s side were looking for a good win to give  their fans early celebrations.

They delivered, beating Mukura 2-1 to grab the league title with four games to spare. A double by Malian international Moussa Camara secured the victory.

Rayon Sports … finally reliving the title-winning feelings of 2012/13 season

Rayon Sports … finally reliving the title-winning feelings of 2012/13 season in Rwanda

canada goose Camara who was returning from a suspension following his AWOL acts put the Blues ahead in the 13th minute scoring from a loose ball after Pierre Kwizera’s free kick past Mukura goalie Andre Mazimpaka.

The Malian had a brace in the 54th minute, his tenth of the season, after dribbling Mukura defenders following a long ball from goalie Eric Ndayishimiye. However, Mukura pulled one back one in the 56th minute which was not enough to put on hold Rayon’s title march.

Double-strike by Malian Moussa Camara on Wednesday clinched the Rwanda Premier League title for Rayon Sports

Double-strike by Malian Moussa Camara on Wednesday clinched the Rwanda Premier League title for Rayon Sports

canada goose The win took Rayon 13 points clear of second-placed and arch rivals APR, who have only 12 points left to play for. In the remaining four match days  Rayon Sports play away to relegated side Pepiniere on Saturday, Etincelles on May 23 at Umuganda stadium, host arch-rival APR at Amahoro Stadium on May 28 before winding up their season campaign against SC Kiyovu at Mumena Stadium. Rayon will represent Rwanda at next year’s CAF [Confederation of African Football] Champions League.

Rayon as also still contention for the ‘League and Cup Double’.  They face Police in the quarter final round next month of the [Rwanda] Peace Cup.

APR of Kigali … their three-year Rwanda Premier League reign brought to a halt by Rayon Sports

APR of Kigali … their three-year Rwanda Premier League reign brought to a halt by Rayon Sports

Massive support, above and below, in the Rayon Sports v APR first leg league match at Amahoro Stadium, Kigali

Massive support, above and below, in the Rayon Sports v APR first leg league match at Amahoro Stadium, Kigali

Coach Massoud Irambona Djuma of Rayon Sports and his medical staff (right) during a league match at Amahoro Stadium, Kigali

Coach Massoud Irambona Djuma of Rayon Sports and his medical staff (right) during a league match at Amahoro Stadium, Kigali

Another substitute comes on for Rayon Sports at Amahoro

Another substitute comes on for Rayon Sports at Amahoro

Yanga’s feat of retaining their Tanzania Premier League title was a relief to their first-season coach George Lwandamina. The much respected Zambia, however, at one time feared retention of his job during some of Yanga’s early three defeats a string of five frustrating draws. He was unable to take Yanga far in the CAF Champions League where they were eliminated in the first round by on the away goal rule after a 1-1 aggregate by Zambia’s Zanaco.

But coming ahead of bitter rivals Simba assures Lwandamina of respite and a stub at another Champions League run as well as a league title defense next season.

Yanga are now 22-time champions of Tanzania stretching further ahead of arch rivals Simba who have won the championship 17 times.

Yanga’s arch rivals Simba Sports Club of Dar es Salaam … dry spell, without Tanzania Premier League title will continue into the fourth year

Yanga’s arch rivals Simba Sports Club of Dar es Salaam … dry spell, without Tanzania Premier League title will continue into the fourth year

canada goose

TANZANIA PREMIER LEAGUE (Since 1990, started 1965):

Total titles:

  • Young Africans – 22
  • Simba – 17

Longest winning streaks:

  • 5 – Young Africans: 1968 –‘72
  • 5 – Simba: 1975 – ‘80
  • 3 – Simba: 1993 – ‘95

2016/17 TANZANIA PREMIER LEAGUE:

        P W L D F A D Pts
1   Young Africans 29 21 5 3 57 13 +44 68
2   Simba 29 20 5 4 48 16 +32 65
3   Azam 29 14 10 5 36 19 +17 52
4   Kagera Sugar 29 14 8 7 32 26 +6 50
5   Mtibwa Sugar 29 9 14 6 31 31 +0 41
6   Ruvu Shooting 29 8 12 9 27 31 -4 36
7   Stand United 29 8 11 10 23 25 -2 35
8   Mwadui 29 10 5 14 31 43 -12 35
9   Tanzania Prisons 29 8 10 11 17 24 -7 34
10   Mbeya City 29 7 12 10 26 30 -4 33
11   Maji Maji 29 9 5 15 24 37 -13 32
12   African Lyon 29 6 13 10 19 28 -9 31
13   Mbao 29 8 6 15 29 38 -9 30
14   Ndanda 29 8 6 15 21 38 -17 30
15   Toto Africans 29 7 8 14 21 31 -10 29
16   Ruvu Stars 29 3 14 12 15 27 -12 23

 ….

2016/17 RWANDA PREMIER LEAGUE:

1 Rayon Sport 25 20 4 1 55:14 64       
2 APR 26 15 9 2 35:15 54       
3 Police 26 14 9 3 40:21 51       
4 AS Kigali 26 14 6 6 32:18 48       
5 Bugesera 26 10 10 6 28:19 40       
6 Musanze 26 10 9 7 29:28 39       
7 Espoir 26 8 10 8 20:18 34       
8 Etincelles 26 8 8 10 20:26 32       
9 Mukura VS 25 8 8 9 24:31 32       
10  Sunrise 26 7 9 10 22:26 30       
11  Kirehe 26 7 7 12 22:28 28       
12  Amagaju 26 7 5 14 20:29 26       
13  Marines 26 7 5 14 20:32 26       
14  Kiyovu 26 6 7 13 26:40 25       
15  Gicumbi 26 5 6 15 22:43 21       
16  Pepiniere 26 2 6 18 15:42 12       

Previous champions: