Rivals to clash in Tusker semis

Simba team

Rival soccer teams Young Africans and Simba go head-to-head in this year’s edition of Tusker Challenge Cup semifinal set for Thursday in Dar es Salaam.

Having finished runners-up in group A, Simba were the first side to book the semifinal berth while Yanga topped group A after chalking maximum points in yesterday’s final match of the group B.

Yanga defeated Tusker by 3-1 goals in the match they dominated for most of the time while taking a two goals cushion up to half time mark.

Yanga’s defender Nadir Haroub broke the deadlock after 31 minutes while teammate Jerry Tegete scored a free goal on the brink of half time.

Collins Okoti pulled one for Tusker with a rasping shot past Yanga’s towering goalie after 56 minutes to set up resurgence campaign that lost its steam few minutes later.

Tegete was on target again after 65 minutes when Yanga combined well to tear apart Tusker defense in the most astonishing way, much to the satisfaction of their fans.

Yanga transformed the match into a practice session while Tusker tried all their hearts out to find a breakthrough past their opponents but to no avail.

The Mainland champions have ended the preliminaries with unbeaten run, while Simba had to fire all barrels ablaze past holders Mtibwa Sugar on Saturday to win the last four berth.

Yanga have scored a total of nine goals in two matches, a fact that keep the Mainland champions a justified semifinal appearance.

Yanga look well drilled if the two group phase matches are anything to go by, but the match against rivals Simba will certainly demand more than that.

The other semifinal will be between Kenyans teams of Sofapaka and Tusker FC to be played at the Uhuru Stadium on Wednesday.

The Yanga-Simba derby is unlikely to be played at the Uhuru Stadium that has been hosting all the Tusker Challenge matches.

A decision whether to maintain the use of Uhuru Stadium for the crowd pulling rivals’ clash, is still at the hands of the organisers.

Most of the matches involving the two Dar es Salaam rival teams have been frequently shifted to the 60,000 capacity seat National Stadium.

Going by the match’s pedigree, there is no way the organisers would avoid using the National Stadium with safety and security as the main reasons behind the most probable decision.


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