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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Kariakoo Derby: Simba and Young Africans play to early season draw

Tanzania and Dar es Salaam’s top sides were all square on Sunday as Young Africans SC and Simba SC played to a 1-1 draw at the Benjamin Nkapa National Stadium in the latest edition of the Kariakoo Derby. Simba playmaker Augustine Okrah opened the scoring for the Reds before Stephane Aziz Ki delivered a crucial equalizer just before halftime to level the match. The rivals each have fourteen points from six games following the match leaving them level at the top of the NBC Premier League table.

Returning from continental duty the two teams had varying fortunes in the final preliminary round of the 2022-23 CAF Champions League but were well rested to do battle in the biggest match of all. A tense affair was anticipated considering the last two editions ended scoreless but Okrah put to rest any worries about an absence of goals in the 16th minute. The Ghanaian attacker collected the ball in midfield and pushed forward before playing a pass to striker Moses Phiri outside the box and continuing his run. Phiri weighted his return pass perfectly and Okrah was in on goal, drawing out Yanga goalkeeper Djigui Diarra and slotting his finish underneath the Malian shot stopper.

It appeared the red portion of the supporters in the stadium would be happiest heading into halftime but another outstanding individual effort drew the match level in first half stoppage time. A free kick was awarded to Yanga thirty yards from the Simba goal and Burkinabé attacker Stephane Aziz Ki stepped up to deliver a powerful drive that left keeper Aishi Manula with no chance as the ball rocketed into the top corner.

The second half featured more physical play and less attacking action as the teams remained even. Yanga star Fiston Mayele had a couple of looks including a header that went off target in the 53rd minute and was also denied by alert defending after Manula missed his attempt to play a cross and left the goal exposed. For Simba, substitute Habib Kiyombo blasted his shot attempt into the side netting in the 64th minute before Okrah rolled a shot wide five minutes later after another dribbling run. Phiri came the closest for either team in the second half, nearly winning it for Simba when he was left unmarked on an 84th minute corner kick but steering his header just wide.

Extended highlights are below from Sunday’s derby.