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Dar Derby fever, fear mount

WILL Young Africans survive Simba’s scare? The question is trending countrywide ahead of the Dar es Salaam (Kariakoo) Derby at Benjamin Mkapa stadium in Dar es Salaam on May 8 this year.

Simba who boast a formidable squad at the moment compared to their goal-barren traditional rivals seem to be very sure of gunning down their opponents this time around.

The two Tanzanian giants are chasing the league title in the ongoing campaign and clash in the league this weekend. Ahead of the derby, Tanzania Football Federation(TFF) has unveiled the names of the officials who will be incharge of the clash.

Emmanuel Mwandembwa has been named the central referee and will be assisted by Frank Komba and Hamdan Said while the fourth official is Ramadhan Kayoko.

When the teams met in the first round they drew 1-1 in a match staged at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

However the Saturday derby will be different from the first round derby which was officiated by six referees, but this time around they have reduced the number due to CAF directives.

But, Simba captain John Bocco remains confident his team will get maximum points when they host rivals Yanga in a Mainland League match this weekend.

Still, despite their terrifying squad Simba have not won any of their last three Derbies in the league. They have lost once and drawn twice, and with the two teams fighting to win the league this season, it is expected to be a close contest.

With that in mind, Bocco expects a difficult match but they have a good team capable of claiming three points.

“The derby will be tough, but we will organise ourselves for better chances of winning the game,” Bocco told Goal. “Our team is good with quality and experienced players and I am confident we will fight to ensure we get a positive outcome in that game.

“We respect Yanga, they are a good team who started the season well, and even the way they are playing you can tell they are a quality side. “However I believe we will prepare better than Yanga and end up getting maximum points in that particular match. “Despite their quality, they have no chance of beating us.”

Last weekend, the defending Tanzania Cup champions came from a goal down to defeat Kagera Sugar 2-1 to make it to the last eight.

Erick Mwaijage struck for the Sugar Millers in the 44th minute, but Bernard Morrison and Meddie Kagere replied in the 56th and 66th minutes, respectively, to help his team advance.

Bocco, the Tanzanian international, has since stated why the Msimbazi Street-based charges struggled in the first half and went on to appreciate the fans for their support.

“In the first half, it was not easy, Kagera were well organised and it is the reason why we struggled,” Bocco added.

“But after the break, we stepped up, doubled our effort, and managed to get maximum points. We thank our fans for the support they have given us, they have supported us regardless of the unfriendly weather conditions.”

Yanga also made it to the last eight after their hard-earned 1-0 win over Tanzania Prisons on Saturday, where their opponents were certain they deserved to get a penalty.

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