Yanga is NBC PL title favourite, says Azam FC’s boss Dabo

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 12:24 PM Apr 23 2024
Azam FC's coach Youssouph Dabo.
Azam FC's coach Youssouph Dabo.

AZAM FC head coach Youssouph Dabo has said Young Africans SC is now the favourite for the 2023/24 NBC Premier League title with seven matches left to play.

Young Africans SC, alias Yanga, beat long-time rivals Simba SC 2-1 in the league’s duel at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday to go seven points clear at the top.

On Sunday, Azam FC won 1-0 against Ihefu SC to reduce the gap to four points and, despite that, Dabo reiterated that Yanga is in prime position to retain the club's crown.

The Senegalese tactician remarked: “Yanga is the favourite to win the championship. I said this a long time ago but, for us, we need to continue keeping pressure so that they need to fight until the end to win the title this season.”

“It is good for Tanzanian football because, if you have a team that wins the championship 10 matches before, it is not interesting.”

“If you have the kind of competition where some teams fight until the end, it will be more interesting and it adds qualities,” Dabo noted.

Dabo's squad looked desperate to bounce back from their midweek draw with Mashujaa FC, with a first-half goal from midfielder Feisal Salum securing the hard-fought victory at Azam Complex Stadium.

“It was tough because we lacked enough goal-scoring opportunities. Sometimes it was just frustration, and sometimes we lacked finishing quality but it is football. It is not possible to be efficient in all situations,” Dabo stated.

He disclosed: “We controlled the game, offensively and defensively. Our block was not breached even for one moment. Defensively we controlled the game because we knew before that Ihefu SC liked to attack through the width.”

“We defend with a high line. I told my players we need to have strong pressure and we need to have good control behind our defensive line. I think we succeeded today. I am happy with the three points but I am not 100% satisfied,” he revealed.

Azam FC will now shift focus to the newly re-introduced Muungano Cup tournament that will feature four teams from both parts of the Union.

Azam FC and Simba SC will represent Tanzania Mainland in the mini-tournament that kicks off tomorrow and will culminate in a final set to take palce on April 27.