Tanzania football giants Simba SC and Young Africans SC will go head-to-head in the much-awaited Kariakoo Derby on Saturday, May 8.
The game will kick off at 16:00 South African time at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam.
One may say this derby comes at the right time after Young Africans, popularly known as Yanga, announced the appointment of Tunisian tactician Nasreddine Nabi as the club’s new head coach a fortnight ago. Nabi replaces the departed Burundian mentor Cedric Kaze, who was shown the door by the club due to a string of poor results.
Both sides meet for the third time this season, after having played to a 1-all draw in the first round of the Tanzania Premier League (VPL), just before Yanga won the Mapinduzi Cup final on penalties last January to lift their first trophy of the season.
The derby is of paramount importance for Yanga to close the gap at the top of the table with leaders Simba gunning to extend their lead as they are eyeing a fourth successive league title.
Simba are currently flourishing on the summit of the log standings with 61 points from 25 outings, while Young Africans – who led the table for so long – dropped to second place with 57 points after 27 games.
“I know the game will be tough because Yanga is not only a good team but a tough opponent. But we have trained well and hopefully, we will earn maximum points to extend our lead,” said Simba head coach Didier Gomes.
Meanwhile, Yanga forward Saido Ntibazonkiza reckons that they will take the game more serious as they understand Simba is a tough team, but they have done their best to prepare for victory.
“Simba is a good team, but we are preparing well for the clash. Our target is to win all the remaining fixtures, it is very important for us. Every derby is tough, so we need to play well to win,” explains the highly confident striker.
Bernard Morrison, a former Yanga player, now Simba SC forward insists that they are preparing well as they take the fixture as a must-win to clear their way for another VPL title.
“We cannot predict the outcome, but time will tell who wins. The derby is always tough and very competitive. We will do our best to win this derby, it is very important for us,” divulges Morrison.
By FARPost Reporter