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‘Nkana tough duel for Simba’

TANZANIAN envoys in the CAF level championships, Simba and Mtibwa Sugar are focused on intensive drill as they have herculean tasks against tough opponents; Nkana and Kampala City Council (KCC).

Simba who pulverised Mbabane with 8-1 whitewash, will face Nkana FC of Zambia in the first round of CAF Champions League, while the CAF Confederation Cup envoys; Mtibwa Sugar are pitted against KCC of Uganda.

Simba’s Head Coach, Patrick Aussems and Zuberi Katwila, the Mtibwa Sugar tactician, said of the importance of serious and early drills for their tough encounters upon arrivals in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Simba will begin their first round campaign away in Zambia on December 14th this year and the return leg will be on December 21st in Dar es Salaam.

Simba who arrived yesterday in Dar es Salaam are scheduled to kick off their preparations for Nkana mission early next week as players have been given a three-day off.

Coach Aussems said that he has a formidable squad comprising a bunch of talented players, a fact he said gives him confidence that the team will go further in the continental level race.

Adding on the team’s readiness for Nkana clash, Simba defender and Assistant Captain, Mohamed Hussein said they know they have a tough mission against the Zambian champs whom he described as one of good teams.

He believes they can clear the Zambian hurdle by working harder and getting support from the club and football supporters. 

Mtibwa’s side who are the country’s envoys in CAF Confederation Cup, also arrived yesterday from Mahe, Seychelles and announced to start preparations immediately ahead of their December 15th away game against KCCA at StarTimes Stadium in Kampala.

And, the Morogoro-based side are scheduled to host KCCA, who got a walkover, hence did not play in the preliminary round.

In retrospect, the Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe called for serious preparations as both teams’ next opponents are tougher and boast vast experience in the continental level games.

Commenting after the two teams cleared preliminary hurdles, Mwakyembe commended both for the achievement, but he cautioned them on the challenges ahead of them.

He said the coming stage is tough since it is the last hurdle to the group stage.

“ Our teams should train well as the next round looks tougher than the previous one. Players individually and the teams, must work harder so that all hurdles ahead are cleared. We are hopeful that our envoys will make it,” he said.

The Minister responsible with sports also requested football supporters to rally behind the country envoys in their all international matches as Simba and Mtibwa Sugar are the only representatives.

The minister’s call was supported by the former Taifa Stars and football analyst, Ally Mayai, who advised Simba not to relax and take the game against Nkana seriously as the Zambians are far better than their previous opponents, Mbabane Swallows.

Lipuli FC Coach and former Simba skipper, Seleman Matola apart from commending his former side’s performance, also advised players not to be carried away with the massive win over Swallows.

Simba have eliminated Mbabane Swallows by 8-1 aggregate victory. They won 4-1 in the first leg held last week in Dar es Salaam, before firing four more away in Mbabane. They will now face Zambia’s Nkana FC, who have eliminated UD Songo of Mozambique by 3- 1 aggregate win.

Mtibwa Sugar, who have also cruised into the first round after kicking out Northern Dynamos of Seychelles with 5-0 whitewash, will now face Uganda’s KCCA FC .

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Author: BETRAM LENGAMA

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