Dar giants in tough duel

DAR ES SALAAM; YOUNG Africans and Simba lock horns today in a Dar es Salaam Derby that is taken to be a tough encounter in Mainland Premier League Title.

Yanga Coach, Miguel Gamondi and Simba Assistant Coach, Selemani Matola have envisioned a tough derby, as the two giants meet when Yanga lead and Simba are third on the league log. Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the city is the beehive of action bringing together two decorated clubs in the country battling for essential maximum points in the Premier League.

Speaking at a pre-match briefing on Friday, Gamondi insisted that their top target is to win the match in order to have a good advantage on the title race.

“In a few words, I cannot say it is a big Kariakoo Derby, for me, it is an African Derby…I have no doubt it is among the big top five derbies in Africa and I am always proud to be part of this derby. “Tanzania football is growing up and it will be a big derby for African football, it will be a nice game, especially for Tanzania people,” he said.

Moreover, he pointed out that they have prepared well for the match, despite the ongoing rains in the city.

ALSO READ: TPLB unveils Dar Derby protocol

“We are ready for the game and we aim to win the derby for the second time this season. Players are motivated and we are all motivated…we respect our opponents just like the way we do with other teams.

“We have nothing to complain, just waiting for the game to start and make Wananchi happy. This is the new match, it has nothing to do with the firstround league derby. “For me, in football if you can dominate the midfield, you can get control of the game and this for sure will be the key part of the match,” he said.

His centre-back, Dickson Job also disclosed that as players, they are well prepared for the encounter and will try to put in practice what they have learnt during training sessions. On his part, Matola insisted that the only way for them to get back in the season’s title chase is to do well over the defending champions.

“We are grateful that our preparations went well and as always, there has never been an easy derby, it will be tough and we respect them (Yanga) a lot.

“They have had a good run in the league and have been recording convincing results and we are all aware about that but despite their great form, our team is ready for the big match. “This is a quite different game from the previous derby we had in the first round, the good thing is that we have experienced players who are not playing these kinds of matches for the first time hence it was easy for us to talk with them,” he said.

Furthermore, Matola noted that though many people are not giving them a chance to win the game, they should know that derbies are unpredictable matches and they will fight to generate good result,” he said.

His full back, Shomari Kapombe, narrated that on behalf of his teammates, they are all in positive frame of mind to battle for maximum points during the big match.

As it stands, Yanga cling to the top post of the table with 55 points from 21 matches while Simba have collected 46 points after 20 fixtures to accommodate third place.

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