Tanzania football giants Simba SC and Young Africans ‘Yanga’ lock horns in the “Kariakoo Derby” on Saturday (8 May 2021) evening, at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam.
They meet for the third time this season, after having a 1-1 draw in the first round of the Tanzania Premier League (VPL), before Yanga won the Mapinduzi Cup final on penalties last January to lift their first trophy of the season.
Simba sits on top of VPL with 61 points after 25 games, while their rivals Yanga – who led the table for so long – they dropped to second place with 57 points from 27 games.
The derby is crucial for Young Africans to close the gap with leaders Simba in the title race, while a win for Simba will extend their lead as they are eyeing a fourth successive league title.
Simba coach, Didier Gomes said a victory against Yanga is very important for his players, to boost their confidence ahead of the Total CAF Champions League quarter final trip to South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs a week later.
“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,” he said.
Simba SC forward Bernard Morrison insists that Kariakoo Derby is one of the best games to play, so they will work hard to earn victory for their passionate fans.
Morrison, aformer Yanga SC player, said 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,” said Morrison.
Meanwhile, Yanga SC forward Saido Ntibazonkiza urges that they will take the game more serious as they understand Simba is a tough opponent, but they have done their best to prepare for victory.
“Simba is a good team, but we are preparing well for 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,” said Ntibazonkiza.