Yanga SC captain Haruna Niyonzima has insisted they are not yet out of the title race despite falling by a solitary goal to Azam FC at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Sunday.
Prince Dube scored the only goal of the match in the 86th minute to deny Timu ya Wananchi an opportunity to return on top of the Tanzanian Mainland League table. The 27-time league champions have played three games more than leaders Simba SC, and are on 57 points, one less than the reigning champions.
With the league headed for the climax, many believe Wananchi are out of the race but not the Burundi international.
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"We have played a good game but as you understand, football is a game of mistakes," Niyonzima told Goal.
"Despite having a good game, we made one mistake and Azam punished us. It is football; however, I am still optimistic we can win the league. We still have league matches to play, it is not like the league has ended.
"And then, Simba and Azam can lose matches as well. So we still have a chance to win the league and we will give our best. The most important thing is to keep on fighting without losing faith and focus.
"As players, we should not give up the hope of winning the league. Let us fight to the end because things might change to our advantage."
After Sunday's outcome between the two sides, Wekundu wa Msimbazi Communications Officer Haji Manara has taken a jibe at rivals Yanga SC.
"Just continue thumping your chests daily when the fact remains you have a bad team," Manara posted on his social media platform.
"You are not ready to win the league title [this season] maybe in 2030. I always tell you to build a team and stop competing with Simba but you are not heeding my advice. Now, where are you?
"Thanks, Azam FC [my second team] you have bailed out the nation."
The Ice-cream Makers are third with 54 points from 28 matches having won 15 of them, drawn nine, and lost four.