Azam FC held to a 1-1 draw away to Biashara Mara United in league outing

Azam FC vs Biashara United.
Azam FC.
The Ice-cream Makers are on 26 points, five behind leaders Yanga SC, who are yet to lose a game

Azam FC have been held to a 1-1 draw by Biashara Mara United in a Tanzania Mainland League match played on Monday.

Ayoub Lyanga opened the scoring for the visitors before Timothy Owenga levelled matters for the home side.

The Ice-cream Makers came into the match hoping to give interim coach Vivier Bahati a positive outcome after Aristica Cioaba's dismissal. 

Despite being away, the 2014 champions played well but struggled to finish the chances they created.

It all changed in the 20th minute - Obrey Chirwa miskicked the ball, but fortunately for him, it went into the right area. The defenders failed to clear it and Lyanga, eventually, managed to tap in from close range.

It happened to be the only goal in the first half.

After the break, the Francis Baraza-led charges came back stronger hoping to get an equalizer.

Their zeal paid dividends in the 58th minute. The Chamazi-based charges committed a foul just outside the 18-yard area, and from the position, Owenga unleashed a shot that Israel Mapigano could not keep out.

Neither of the two teams could get another goal in a match which witnessed fewer chances, especially in the second half.

Monday's game was just one of the two matches Bahati will be in charge of after the exit of Cioaba. The next one will be against Gwambina FC.

The Romanian tactician was shown the exit door after the Chamazi-based giants suffered a 1-0 defeat against Young Africans (Yanga SC), a result that saw them relinquish the top spot in the 18-team league table.

Prior to losing to Yanga, Azam had also suffered a 1-0 defeat against KMC and according to club’s information officer Thabit Zakaria, the two parties agreed to part ways.

"As you know, we began the season on the front pedal winning seven straight games but from the eighth game to the twelfth one, things made a U-turn to the extent that the fighting spirit from players was nowhere to be seen," Zakaria said.

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"The board saw this as a threat towards our mission of clinching the title this season hence decided to part ways with the coach and has since wished him all the best."

Zakaria maintained that, despite their fans feeling the coach should have been given more time to handle the team, the board felt otherwise. 

After the draw, Azam remain in the second position but with 26 points, five fewer than leaders Yanga SC, while Biashara are seventh on 19 points.