Young Africans

The Mainland Premier League match pitting defending champions, Yanga, against JKT Ruvu will be played under floodlights at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

This is because the same venue is expected to host evening training session for Namibia, which will face Twiga Stars in Sunday’s African Women Championship (AWC) return leg match. Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) Information Officer, Boniface Wambura, said the Yanga versus JKT Ruvu game will kick off at 6pm instead of the scheduled starting time of 4pm with a view to allowing Namibia to train at the same venue from 4pm.

“The temporary change in the Yanga versus JKT Ruvu match’s kick-off has been done to allow Namibia to train at the same venue from 4pm before playing Twiga Stars in the AWC’s return leg match that will be held at the same venue on Sunday,” he said. Wambura said according to the AWC regulations set forth by the continental soccer governing body, CAF, the tournament’s guest side should be given opportunity to train at a venue, which will be used for the event’s match, a day before the game.

“The Twiga Stars versus Namibia game has also forced the Mainland Premier League match between Azam FC and Moro United, which was to be played at the Azam Complex on January 29 (tomorrow), to be pushed back to the next day at the same venue,” he said.

Wambura said the mentioned changes, however, have not affected other premier league matches scheduled for today at other venues, in which Toto African and Villa Squad will lock horns at the Azam Complex while Kagera Sugar will face Ruvu Shooting Stars at the latter’s venue, Mlandizi, in the Coast Region.

Sunday’s league matches between Coastal Union and Mtibwa Sugar at Manungu Stadium in Morogoro, African Lyon against Polisi Dodoma at Azam Complex and Simba versus JKT Oljoro at the National Stadium respectively on Wednesday will also take place as previously scheduled.

Wambura mentioned the entrance fee for today’s match between Yanga and JKT Ruvu as 3,000/- for each of the blue and green seats, 5,000/- each for orange seats, 10,000/- for each of the VIP C and B seats while VIP A seats will cost 15,000/- each.  Azam Complex’s entrance fee will be 10,000/- each for the main stand and 3,000/- each for the rest of the stadium.

Yanga will have the opportunity to continue bolstering their title chase when they meet JKT Ruvu in the potentially entertaining duel. The match is crucial for either side’s bid to stay in better position in the league standing, thus, neither will be willing to let the winning chances slip through their hands.

Victory in the game, nevertheless, will mean much more to Yanga, considering that it will help the team reduce the gap with league leaders, Simba, or even go above them if they score at least four clear goals.  Yanga, who are in the second position at the moment, failed to topple rivals, Simba, when the former  battled to a 2-2 draw with the unpredictable Moro United in the first game of the second round at the same venue last weekend to collect 28 points and briefly stay level with Simba.

Simba then managed to open a three point gap with their rivals, when they snatched a hard fought 2-1 win over Coastal Union of Tanga at the National Stadium on Wednesday this week to continue boosting excitement in the title chase. Yanga will definitely face huge challenge in their attempt to secure crucial three points today given that JKT Ruvu have proved to be stubborn opponents whenever the two sides meet in league games in recent years.

JKT Ruvu grabbed a surprise 1-0 win over Yanga in the first round of the league on August 21 last year to register the first of the two defeats the latter have conceded in their campaign and that means Yanga face an uphill task in their plan to overcome their opponents in the second meeting. Yanga’s head coach, Kostadin Papic, is expected to line up his most trusted weapons as he plots to get the better of the army outfit and possibly maintain winning ways for the rest of the campaign.

The Jangwani Street side’s striking force comprising Ghanaian Kenneth Asamoah, Zambian Davies Mwape, Ugandan Hamisi Kiiza, and the local lad, Jerry Tegete, once again, will face a challenging task of living up to the team’s expectations and bring smiles on the faces of the team’s fans.

Asamoah and Kiiza were on target last weekend as their side secured the draw against Moro United and the Ghanaian, in particular, will be keener on getting his name on the score sheet so that he could continue staying in better position in the race for the top scorer award.

Yanga strikers, on the one hand, will have a rather tough task of getting at the back of the uncompromising JKT Ruvu defence made up of George Minja, Damas Makwaya, Kessy Mapande and keeper, Shaaban Dihile, among others and the fans should, therefore, be prepared for an exciting contest involving the two departments.

JKT Ruvu striking force, comprising Sostenes Manyasi, Hussein Bunu and his younger brother, Abdallah, among others, will, on the other hand, equally be expected to turn into a constant menace to Yanga defence marshalled by Nadir Haroub, Chacha Marwa, Bakari Mbegu and Stephano Mwasika.

Yanga will have to do without the services of their dependable right fullback and skipper, Shadrack Nsajigwa, who starts to serve his three- match suspension on Saturday after he was shown red card for an unprofessional conduct in the last weekend match against Moro United. Nsajigwa was given marching orders after elbowing Moro United’s striker, Benedict Ngasa, and the defender’s absence, for that matter, gives another combative right fullback, Godfrey Taita, chance to return to action.

JKT Ruvu, currently in the seventh position with 17 points from 14 matches having won three, managed draw in eight and lost the remaining, undoubtedly needs a win to climb up the standing and possibly boost chances of being in contention for the trophy.

The Coast Region-based side started the second round on a sour note after conceding a 1-0 defeat to the relegation-threatened Polisi Dodoma at the latter’s venue on Monday this week and nothing but a win against Yanga will help JKT Ruvu stay on track for successful campaign.

Source Tanzania Daily News

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