Know Yanga and Simba SC opponents in CAF quarters

Combined photos of Simba and Yanga players celebrating after scoring goals in their CAF Champions League last-32 first-leg qualifiers on September 16, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The two teams will be in action between March 29 and 30 at the home venue and later play return legs between April 5 and 6 at the away venue, according to the CAF schedule

Dar es Salaam. Traditional rivals Young Africans (Yanga) and Simba are set to face strong opposition in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals scheduled to start at the end of this month.

According to the schedule set by the African football governing body (CAF), the two teams are slated to compete in matches at their respective home venues on March 29 and 30. Subsequently, they will engage in return legs at the away venues on April 5 and 6.

With the draw of the tournament anticipated to take place two weeks prior to the commencement of the first leg matches, both Yanga and Simba could potentially encounter Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa for the first time in their respective histories.

Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrate after scoring during a past match. PHOTO | COURTESY 

 Mamelodi Sundowns

Records indicate that since its establishment in 1970, Yanga and Simba have not crossed paths with Mamelodi Sundowns, marking the potential encounter as a significant and unprecedented event in their histories. The matches against the South African giants are expected to be challenging for Tanzania’s traditional giants. Records show that Mamelodi Sundowns have managed to win the South Africa Premier League title 16 times since 1988.

Statistics also show that Mamelodi Sundowns have dominated the South Africa Premier League title, winning it back-to-back since 2017/18.

They won the title in 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022, and 2022/2023, and are currently at the top of the league standings with 42 points from 16 matches.

The second-placed team is Cape Town City, with 31 points from 18 matches, trailing 11 points behind the league leaders.

The South African giants also boast an illustrious record, having clinched the title in the inaugural African Football League (AFL) and secured one silverware in the CAF Champions League after emerging victorious in 2016. Additionally, they earned a silver medal in the 2001 edition of the prestigious tournament.

They also won a gold medal in the CAF Super Cup after winning the title in 2017.

Petro de Luanda players celebrate after scoring during a past match. PHOTO | COURTESY 

 Petro de Luanda

The Angolan giants may also face Yanga or Simba, depending on the CAF draw. Petro de Luanda are among the strong sides in the CAF Champions League quarterfinals with the best records in the group stage, collecting 12 points with no losses.

Furthermore, Petro de Luanda has an impressive track record in domestic competitions, having clinched a remarkable 17 titles in the domestic league, 14 titles in the Angola Cup, and six titles in the Angola Super Cup. The team has made seven appearances in the CAF Champions League, reaching the semifinals in 2001 and 2021/2022. The team also qualified for the group stage in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 editions while competing in the Africa Cup of Champions nine times. They also competed in the CAF Confederation Cup seven times and qualified for the group stage in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

They were also CAF Cup finalists in 1997. Nevertheless, the team has a history with Yanga, having faced them in the CAF Champions League rounds in 2007. In that encounter, Yanga emerged victorious with a 3-0 win at their home venue, but suffered a 2-0 defeat in the away match.

Simba attacking midfielder Kibu Dennis (second left) shoots during the African Football League match against Al Ahly of Egypt at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. PHOTO | COURTESY

 Al Ahly vs Simba

The two teams have faced each other several times in the CAF Champions League and recently in the African Football League (AFL).

Records show that in the five matches since 2019, Simba won two, and Al Ahly SC also won two matches with one draw. In the AFL, Al Ahly secured a 2-2 draw at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on October 21, 2023. In the return leg, the match ended in another draw with a scoreline of 1-1 on October 26, 2023.

Basically, Al Ahly are the competition’s defending champion. Records show that the Egyptian giants managed to win 11 titles in the CAF Champions League. They are number one in the CAF Club ranking with 78 points.

Simba and Asec Mimosa players vie for the ball during their CAF Champions League match at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on February 23, 2024.

 Yanga vs Asec Mimosas

The two teams have met twice in history, whereby Yanga lost 3-0 at the home venue and later lost 2-1 on away soil in the 1998 CAF Champions’ League group stage. The teams may meet in the next match, depending on the CAF draw.

However, Yanga, which competed in the 1998 CAF Champions’ League group stage, is not the same as the current one. 

Lots of changes have happened in the Jangwani Street giants, and they are regarded as one of the strongest squads in the competition. Yanga placed second in the last edition of the CAF Confederation Cup on an away goal rule against USM Alger to win the silver medal.

Asec Mimosas, on their side, are one of the strongest teams in the competition, with vast experience in the CAF Champions League.

They finished at the top of Group B with 11 points. They also managed to win the Ivory Coast title 29 times and the CAF Champions League title once, in 1998.