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Pablo on derby: Facing Yanga is arduous

Pablo on derby: Facing Yanga is arduous

After securing a third and last traditional derby of the season, Simba Head Coach Pablo Franco said he would have preferred to face Geita Gold than Young Africans because playing the latter will be much difficult.

The Msimbazi Street Reds will face Yanga in one of the semifinals of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) after a comfortable 4-0 win over the Championship side, Pamba at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

Goals from Peter Banda (44th), Kibu Denis (48th) and a brace by Yusuph Mhilu in the 58th and 88th minutes were enough to see off the Mwanza-based Pamba who were the only team from the Championship league to play in the ASFC quarters.

Simba missed countless of scoring opportunities in the first half as most of them went off target.

"No, I am not excited. I could have preferred to play Geita Gold and I think they deserved to be in the semifinals because they conceded a penalty which Yanga were given in unfair way.

"Of course I want to win. If I play against Yanga, it will be more difficult to win than if I faced Geita Gold...so, I am not excited at all," Pablo said smilingly at a post-match briefing.

He also reiterated that at a break, he tasked his charges to keep on searching for more goals after missing lots of scoring chances in the opening half.

"I relaxed when I saw that we were not utilising well many scoring opportunities we created which could have made us finish the first half with at least five goals. I told the players not to stop trying in the second half and it worked," he said.

Pamba’s coach Steven Matata said lack of maturity by his charges is what made the difference on the day while insisting that they have been privileged to reach at this stage of the contest.

"Basing on the qualities of these two teams, I can say we did not deserve to go further and we used the match as a learning platform for us to be much stronger in our remaining two Championship fixtures.

"We have learned a lot from Simba and we are going to use the skills we have gained to do well in the Championship," Matata said.

The past two traditional derbies of the Premier League ended in barren draws, but this time, the winner must be found as it is a knockout tournament.

The winner of the third derby will face the winner of a second semifinal match between Azam and Coastal Union.

Last season, Simba defeated Yanga 1-0 to clinch the ASFC title in a math staged at Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma.

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Author: BENJAMIN BEN

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