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Champs open with Mwanza side as debutants Bandari face Singida

SportPesa Super Cup defending champions Gor Mahia open their defence against Tanzania’s Mbao at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam on January 23.

Gor, who have won the two-country tournament since its inception in 2016 has an uphill task to make it three-in-a-row and keep it for good at a time when they have been restructuring following a near-successful season that saw them depart the CAF Champions League in the last-16.

A chance to go further on the continent was blown up when they lost to Rwanda’s Rayon Sport at Kasarani Stadium in a season they won the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) with five matches in hand.

Tanzania’s Singida United and Kenya’s Bandari will play in the opening match of the tournament whose third edition kicks off on January 22-27 at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam.

In fixtures released by tournament organisers SportPesa, Dar es Salaam-based Yanga SC will then square it out with SportPesa Shield winners Kariobangi Sharks at 4.15 pm in the second fixture of the tournament opening date.

“We are happy to be part of the tournament and ready for any team,” said Bandari CEO Edward Oduor.

The Mombasa-based outfit is appearing at the tournament for the first time. Prior to the Gor-Mbao match, Tanzania giants Simba and AFC Leopards face off in a match set to kick off at 4.15pm. The semi-finals will be played on January 25 while the third-place playoff match will be staged on the final day at 2 p.m.

Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) 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.

The winner of the tournament will have the privilege to host English Premier League club Everton FC in their home country for a friendly match.

This will be the second time that Everton will visit East Africa after their first tour of Tanzania in 2017 where they played a friendly with the inaugural tournament winners Gor Mahia.

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