Photo: The Citizen
Young Africans’ forward Simon Msuva and Amissi Tambwe celebrating a goal.
Dar es Salaam — Young Africans captain Nadir Haroub ‘Cannavaro’ claims he is not bothered by arch-rivals Simba SC’s early Vodacom Premier League charge. The Yanga stalwart defender says he is relaxed about the Msimbazi Street rivals’ flying start, stressing that they had once beaten them to the title despite their early brilliance. The 34-year-old, who is in the twilight of his career, made the remark following their goalless draw against Azam FC on Sunday. The draw left them trailing Simba by eight points, but they have game in hand.
Simba top the 16-team league table with 23 points having played nine points while Yanga, who are the defending champions, sit third with 15 points from eight games. “I can’t really say that personally I’m looking too much at Simba,” said Cannavaro. “We won the championship before despite making a slow start to the league, the fact that Simba look impressive at this time of the season, does not mean that they will be the champions.” “We can’t crown them this early because in soccer there are many reasons that can cause them to fall when other teams get into their winning ways. We still have 22 matches to the end of the season, so we have a chance of toppling them off top.” Nevertheless, Cannavaro issued a warning to his teammates that this season’s league may be tougher than the previous, thus they have to roll their sleeve. “We need not to take things for granted because this season seems to be more competitive. We really have to keep fighting hard in the forthcoming matches,” he said.
The no-nonsense defender expressed concern over fixtures, saying they face a decisive period as they have to play three more matches in the next 10 days. “We have three matches in 10 days, so we have to really flex our muscles as it may be decisive for the title race. We must ensure that we are neck-and-neck with the leaders,” he said.
Yanga travel to Mwanza for tomorrow’s match against ailing Toto Africans while Simba will host Mbao FC at the Uhuru Stadium on Thursday. Meanwhile, Azam head coach Zeben Hernandez claimed that they played better than Yanga on Sunday only that luck was not on their side. Azam took their to 12 from a possible 27 and they now sit seventh in the log. “We had the best game against Yanga, we…