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Battle of wits for Simba, Yanga

THERE will be no room for a draw when the big Dar es Salaam derby presents at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar tonight.

The huge crowd heading to Zanzibar claimed their mission was to witness the death of one of the two giants; Simba or Young Africans, one of them must die. Most of the supporters of the both teams claimed they were going to Zanzibar to celebrate the victory but the sad demise of one of the giants.

Time will tell who fall tonight between the two giants, each owning almost a half of Tanzanian population. One of the Tanzania’s two biggest football clubs, Simba and Young Africans, will have to fall in the semi final stage of this year’s Mapinduzi Cup to decide which team plays in the event’s last two stage.

It has to be as there is no room for exhibition football – which the two giants are known for – and a draw is out of the question in this cup competition as there must be a winner to advance to the next round.

Although fans continue to be duped by marketing trickery to get them to fill the stadium, everyone now knows that whenever there is a derby, the score line has not been easy to predict. In most cases it has been quite opposite. It has been found most often the best Yanga losing to tactically weak Simba and vice versa.

But all that is out of the question in this match, and fans can brace themselves for a thriller as both teams will seek to win it inside the 90 as opposed to leaving it to the lottery of penalties.

Yanga who suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss to Azam in their last group B match can not be underestimated in the game as opposed to Simba who com- TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2017 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 URA Simba Yanga KCC Azam Mtibwa Miembeni Malindi Mafunzo KMKM Polisi Z’bar Jamhuri 2016 2011, 2015 2004 2014 2012, 2013 2010 2008 2007 2005 2002 2001 1998 Graph showing Mapinduzi Cup Champions from 1998-2016 pleted the Group Stage assignment unbeaten after posting 3 wins and a draw, while Yanga who finished second behind Group B leaders, Azam, notched six points from a two-match victory and a loss. Prior to their disastrous encounter with Azam, Yanga enjoyed a +8 Goal difference, but the GD went down to +4 after their heavy loss. Psychologically, Simba fans have high hopes of their team’s victory in tonight clash.

Most of the team’s supporters said their claims are backed by the history and the team’s current performance in both the Premier League and the Mapinduzi Cup. With the exception of Cecafa Club Championship final of 1975 which Yanga beat Simba 2-0 to win their maiden region title, Amaan Stadium has been too friendly to Simba. But Yanga supporters, who looked too confident despite their team’s loss to Azam, said they were heading to Zanzibar to witness the death of the ‘beast’ and their loss doesn’t give their opponents a guarantee to win the derby.

“Just wait and watch, you will see how the beast falls in Zanzibar tomorrow,” said one of the supporters. But Simba SC skipper, Jonas Mkude admitted to the reporters yesterday that the match would be tough as both sides were seriously preparing the players for the big match.

Mkude said his players were physically and psychologically fit for the encounter, but insisted that the truth will be found after the end of the 90 minutes

Burundian import Laudit Mavugo scored a brace to give Simba a convincing 2-0 win over Jang’ombe Boys in the early match Before the Dar giants clash, Azam FC will open the semis stage against the hosts Taifa Jang’ombe, the match will be staged at Amaan around 4:00 pm.

Taifa Jang’ombe sealed a semi final spot after beating Uganda URA 1-0 in a thrilling Group A match at the same venue.

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