In Summary
  • Goalkeeper Kakolanya produced some breathtaking saves during Sunday’s Dar derby at the National Stadium, and was the hero for Young Africans

Dar es Salaam. Young Africans goalkeeper Benno Kakolanya says his Man of the Match Award in Sunday’s clash against Simba was down to team work

The Msimbazi Reds kept Kakolanya busy all evening and the eagle-eyed goalkeeper responded in spectacular fashion at the National Stadium.

“For me as a player, it’s because I work hard in training and no wonder I performed well yesterday (Sunday),” the 24-year-old goalie told The Citizen yesterday.

“It’s because of the hard work I put in training. During training sessions, we keep encouraging each other. No wonder we are this far,” he added.

Simba fans were disappointed that their team could not bag maximum points in the derby, which ended in a barren draw.

“Something was wrong. They did not play as they usually do. It was a match which we had every opportunity to win,” Ally Msafiri – a Simba fan – said.

Domico Elias, a Temeke resident, had similar views, adding: “They failed to capitalise on the many opportunities they got, especially in the first half and early second half.”

“They are used to pressure, so they cannot say they felt pressurized to perform from their fans, who cheered them on from the first whistle. Let’s just say it was not their day.”

Kakolanya, who joined Yanga two seasons ago, admitted that he laboured to clear sizzling shots from Simba strikers, who pressed upfront relentlessly in search of goals.

The goalie said he is happy to have joined one of the top teams in the country – Yanga – and believes he will develop into a finer goalkeeper for the club as well as the country.

Yanga official, who declined to be named, the Kakolanya is still young and ready to learn.

“As a club, we brought him in because of his qualities,” he said.