NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – Defending champions Gor Mahia will kick off the defense of their Sportpesa Super Cup against Tanzania’s Mbao FC when this year’s edition goes down at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam from January 22.
Gor will play the Tanzanian debutants on January 23 at 2pm as they look to clinch the title for a third consecutive time and earn the right to play English Premier League side Everton FC again when the Toffees visit East Africa in July.
Meanwhile, last year’s finalists Simba SC will tackle Kenya’s AFC Leopards in the late kick off. Simba lost 2-0 to Gor Mahia in last year’s final at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Kariobangi Sharks who are making their second appearance will face Simba’s arch rivals Young Africans while debutants Bandari tackle Singida United in the opening day fixture on December 22.
Sharks were unlucky not to go past the first round last year after losing 3-2 to Simba on penalties having drawn 0-0 in regulation time. Yanga who face them exited the first round after a heavy 3-1 loss against kakamega Homeboyz.
Singida on their end lost 2-0 to Gor in the semi finals having beaten AFC Leopards 4-2 in the first round matches.
The semi-finals will be played on January 25 while the third-place playoff match will be staged on the final day at 2pm.
There might be a repeat of the Gor, Simba rivalry final if both sides go past the first round and semi-finals.
The winner of the Gor/Mbao tie will face the winner of the Yanga, Sharks game while the winner of the Bandari Singida fixture plays the winner of the Simba, AFC first round game.
Tanzania Football Federation’s competitions manager Salum Madadi said all preparations for the tournament are complete, urging all football fans across the region to turn up in large numbers for the matches which he projects will be exciting and competitive.
“This year’s competition is not one to be missed by all the local football fans. We are confident that our teams will perform well and ensure that the tournament cup remains here at home,” said Madadi.
“Based on these fixtures we are in for an exciting football week in Dar es Salaam. I urge fans, sports lovers and families to turn up in large numbers at the stadium to support growth of regional football,” said SportPesa’s Chief Marketing officer Kelvin Twissa.