AFL thriller finally here

•New dawn for African football as Simba host Al Ahly

DAR ES SALAAM: THE African Football League (AFL) will commence today at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, with a spectacular opening ceremony and consequently a match featuring Simba and Al Ahly.

The tournament features eight top clubs on the continent, including national envoys Simba, Egyptian giants Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca (Morroco), Esperance (Tunisia), Tp Mazembe (Congo DR), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Petro Atletico (Angola) and Enyimba of Nigeria.

Other than expecting an eye-catching opening ceremony, coaches of Simba and Al Ahly expressed their delight in their teams’ preparation, still insisting it will be a tough match.

Both coaches voiced their remarks during a press briefing at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Both coaches insisted they hope to deliver a masterpiece of a performance.

Simba’s Head Coach, Roberto Oliveira pointed out that he acknowledges they are facing the best team in Africa, with titles and experience. However, he stressed that despite how big Al Ahly are, Simba are confident of winning.

“Football is about respect, football is an art. We cannot talk too much before the game but we Simba have prepared well and we are ready for the game. It’s a game with high pressure and we respect our opponents because they have a good experience of playing in different big tournaments,” he said.

Simba’s trainer revealed that Henock Inonga is back in the squad and probably he would be in service today.

“Having Inonga in my squad adds value, because he is among the key players. I consider him the best defender in Africa,” said Simba’s coach.

Al Ahly Head Coach, Marcel Koller, remarked that they expect a tough duel as Simba is currently the best club in East Africa, with experienced players. He further insisted that despite how good Simba are, they will fight to secure a win.

“We are very happy to be here and I heard a lot about Al Ahly playing here. I know there is a lot of history here, but we are ready to face Simba. It’s always challenging to meet East and Central African teams, but I believe in my playing style and philosophy the game will be interesting,” he said.

Al Ahly Captain, Mohamed El Shenawy noted: “Al Ahly always aims to get good results, therefore we are here to win the game. Although it’s going to be a tough game, we know what we came for,” he said.

Simba’s Skipper, John Bocco, said they know they are going to face tough opponents but still are confident to get good results.

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