Charity Shield battle kicks off

Mainland top soccer rivals Simba and Young Africans lock horns in a Charity Shield tie at the National Stadium today.

The match kicks off at 16:15 hours and has to produce a winner between the two teams.

Both teams boast of having the best line up tailor made to contest the Mainland premiership that kicks off on Saturday.

This is the second time the teams meet since January. A premiership return leg battle on April 18 at the same venue was won by eventual league winners Simba in a seven goals thriller.

With their Serbian coach having extended his contract for one more year, Young Africans will certainly be all out to avenge the defeat.

However, Simba, who have been enjoying upper hand in their league matches against Yanga, might be interested to underline their supremacy over their rivals yet again.

Both teams meet with new leadership after general elections held within the past three months.

While Yanga would miss their talismanic striker Mrisho Ngasa who crossed over to Azam FC, Simba would have to make to do with second choice goalkeeper Ali Mustafa after Juma Kaseja has been ruled out for injury.

Mustafa’s last appearance against Yanga was on April 19 last year when conceded two goals with the last-gasp one scored by Jerry Tegete for the match to end in 2-2 draw.

Simba have as usual maintained their Zanzibar camp while Yanga temporarily moved to Bagamoyo last week to gear up for today’s tie.

Winners of today’s match would gain psychological boost as the premiership kicks off on Saturday.

The last time Yanga won against Simba with the Serbian coach Kostadin Papic in power was during the Tusker Challenge Cup semi-final in December last year.

Yanga won by 2-1 goals to win the final berth against Kenya’s Sofapaka which they also won by similar margin.

Simba’s striking force would be missing Ramadhan Chombo and upcoming Jabir Aziz who, like Ngasa, have crossed to Azam FC.

Post-match shootouts would be deployed to separate the teams should they finish level after regulation time.

However, the Tanzania Football Federation has continued its new fashion of veiling match officials for reasons best known to themselves.

It’s another battle between Phiri and Papic as club chairmen Llyod Nchunga and Ismail Aden Rage ponders their prowess in leading the two soccer giants in the country.

Phiri was not present when Simba won their last match against Yanga at the same venue in April.

Simba and Yanga are meeting in their first ever Charity Shield since its introduction the previous season.

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