The Belgian coach calls on his players to maintain a winning run after they beat their rivals in the derby played on Sunday
Young Africans (Yanga SC) coach Luc Eymael has urged his players to build a winning momentum from their 1-0 result against rivals Simba SC in the Mainland Premier League derby on Sunday.
Bernard Morrison’s spectacular free-kick in the first half decided the day as Yanga floored Simba at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam in a match watched by Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli and the President of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Ahmad Ahmad.
Speaking exclusively to Goal after winning his first derby in Tanzania, the Belgian coach has said the most important thing from the win is to make sure Yanga maintains their form to achieve their target of finishing second behind Simba at the end of the season.
“I am happy we won against our biggest rivals, but you know it is just a soccer game and we won the three points and the most important thing now is to keep the momentum going, keep winning our matches because the target is still the same,” Eymael told Goal.
“The target is to try to finish second and also perhaps to win a trophy, so if we can win the domestic Cup the better for the fans.
“The difference of points between Simba and Yanga was huge when I arrived, the team was number six when I arrived the gap was already there and mathematically it is impossible to come back and catch up with Simba, nothing is impossible but it will be a miracle to come back.”
On the passion of the Tanzania fans, who thronged the 65,000 sitter stadium, Eymael told Goal: “I know at the end of the day, the fans were crazy, very happy, the passion in Africa is even bigger than in Europe because like I have always told you football in Africa is like a religion.
“Our focus now is to try to win our games, we have won four matches in a row, and have kept four cleans sheets and it includes a cup game, it is not bad we continue to improve and I think [Morrison] gave us something to celebrate, he was injured but we asked him to play and he scored the winning goal.”
On how he overpowered Simba, Eymael explained: “I think we were very solid at the back, the boys were sticking to the plans and I think the first half, during the first 20 to 25 minutes we were the best team and after, we dropped a bit and our goalkeeper kept us in the game.
“In the second half my instructions were very clear, we had no more to press very high, we had to come to regroup because we knew they will come at us and we missed two more chances but my goalkeeper and the defence were very good to keep the tie at 1-0 despite Simba pushing hard.
“I want to congratulate the players, I am happy for the fans, happy for the club board and sponsors and also my medical staff and technical stuff and my family too because my wife was praying a lot in Belgium and I thank God we got the win, thank God he blessed us with the win.”
Regardless of the result, Simba still sits top of the league table with 68 points from 27 matches, while Yanga moved to third on 50 points from 25 outings. Azam FC are second on 51 points from 27 matches.