Can Azam end Shield jinx?

17Aug 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Can Azam end Shield jinx?

MAINLAND premier league giants, Yanga and Azam FC, will have a lot to prove in front of their respective fans when the two teams meet in the Community Shield game at the National Stadium in Dar esSalaam today.

The match isalso used as a curtain raiser for the league's new season, which has been slated to kick off on Saturday.
Both teams have had opportunity to play a series of pre-season competitive matches to ensure they prepare well for the league.

Yanga are currently taking part in the CAF Confederation Cup's group stage, in which the team has been rubbing shoulders with Algeria's MouloudiaBejaia, Medeama of Ghana and TP Mazembe of Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC).

Yanga, whose bid for a place in the continental tournament's last four stage has failed to materialise, will wind up their campaign by playing TP Mazembe at the latter's venue early next week.

Azam, whose technical bench is led by Spaniard Zeben Hernandez, took on several top flight outfits in a series of friendly matches during the former's pre-sesoncamp in Zanzibar last month.

The two teams will have opportunity to continue experimenting their newly registered players and see to it that the latter adapt to their respective teams' playing patterns prior to the start of the newpremiership season.

Yanga recruited, among others, goalkeeper BenoKakolanya, defenders Andrew Vincent and RamadhanKessy, midfielder JumaMahadhi and striker Aubrey Chirwa from Zambia.

Azam FC has, among others, defenders Bruce Kangwa, Ismail Gambo and striker, Francisco Zekumbawire from Zimbabwe in their line up.

It will be the first litmus test for Hernandez, who replaced English tactician Stewart Hall, at the end of the previous league season.Yanga has maintained their Dutch coach Hans van Pluijm for the second successive season.Azam have never beaten Yanga in three of the past community shield encounters.

Azam FC will kick off their premiership campaign by facing African Lyon at the NationalStadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday and Yanga will play Lyon at the same venue on August 28.