It was a tense encounter as Yanga, who looked wary of their opponents’ machinery, played a cautious game in all 90 minutes to deny their opponents play their usual game. The draw has left both sides glued on 16 points with Simba’s superior goal average continues to make them command a pilot seat.
The most notable moment in the yesterday’s clash was Yanga’s quick equaliser after cancelling Simba’s lead in just three minutes, something scarcely seen in the Dar es Salaam derby.
The game started slowly with each side determined to avoid an early goal. Nothing serious was crafted in at the early start as the opening five minutes, goalkeepers of the both sides were not seriously tested.
As it was anticipated, much footwork was seen at the middle of terrain where the both sides fielded industrious playmakers; Raphael Daudi, Pius Buswita and Papy Tshishimbi for Young Africans while Simba banked on their technicians Haruna Niyonzima, Mzamiru Yassin and James Kotei. But as well, there were Jonas Mkude on Simba who was the unseen figurehead in Simba’s machinery.
It was much a defensive football employed by Zambian tactician George Lwandamina as opposed to his counterpart, Joseph Omog who relied on attacking football.
Emmanuel Okwi partnered with Laudit Mavugo upfront as they tried to weaken the defence of Yanga comprising veteran defender and skipper Kelvin Yondani who was assisted by Andrew Vicent and Gadiel Micheal who ensured their goalkeeper Youthe Rostand was not disturbed.
The game opened up mid way into the first half with the two traditional rivals deploying more men upfront for the sake of getting an early lead with a notable long range shot coming from Tshishimbi shortly before the interval, which forced Simba goalie, Aishi Manula to make a stretching saves between the posts. The scoreboard read 0-0 when the tense round 8 match knocked half time doors.
On resumption, Simba came more rejuvenated with Okwi brightening the restart with two dangerous moves, but several of his attempts went far from the target. Omog rested Mavugo for John Bocco whose presence was immediately felt shortly after making his way in when he missed a free header.
The overcrowded Uhuru Stadium was sparkled into cheers in the 57th minute when Simba’ s winger, Shiza Kichuya utilised well Yanga’s defensive blunders to put his side ahead.
Kichuya was unmarked when he headed home the cross from the right flank, Simba’s celebration, was however short lived as Yanga leveled matters just three minutes later.
It was in the 60th minute when the Jangwani based team responded strongly with Obrey Chirwa’s equaliser. He too caught Simba defenders napping to slot the ball home past Aishi Manula.
The 1-1 looked painful to on-fire Simba who spent most of the last minutes of the game seeking a winner. Their efforts didn’t pay off as the 90 minutes of the tense game ended with a draw.
The last time these two historic rivals met at Uhuru Stadium was in 2008 whereby the end product was a barren draw.