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Pablo: Fighting spirit pays off

Pablo: Fighting spirit pays off

SIMBA Head Coach Pablo Franco has encouraged his charges to continue fighting for maximum points in all the remaining matches of the Premier league.

The Coach, however, said the players should remain focused on the remaining fixtures despite having a long list of players nursing injuries. The defending champions were again red hot on Tuesday when they defeated Kagera Sugar 2-0 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam to reduce the 11-point gap to 8.

They have to win two matches and stamp two draws to be level with the leaders Young Africans. On-form strikers Kibu Denis and skipper John Bocco contributed one goal each in the first half to punish Kagera Sugar who won 1-0 in their first round game at Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera.

The duo have since netted in two consecutive games for Simba as they were also on the scoreboard when the Msimbazi Street Reds handed Ruvu Shooting a 4-1 blitz at the same venue. With the sound victory, Simba remain plastered at the second position with 49 points after playing 23 matches.

They are just eight points inferior to the league leaders Yanga. Tomorrow, Simba will host Pamba in the last quarter final match of the Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) at Benjamin Mkapa stadium.

The winners of the match will earn a ticket to meet Young Africans in one of the semifinal matches of the tournament. After Pamba game, the Msimbazi street side will be at Azam Complex in Chamazi to face Azam in their 24th league fixture on Wednesday.

"I am happy with this victory as we continue to fight for maximum points in all the games we play. We were much better in the first half and we could have even scored more goals as many chances were misused. "In the second half, our opponents came refreshed and started to open up in order to get something but we managed to contain them and prevented any dangerous move which could have helped them to score," said Franco at a post- match briefing.

He added that they currently have a long list of injuries in their squad that is why some players were tasked to play at their unusual positions during the tense game. His counterpart for Kagera Sugar Francis Baraza gave credit to Simba defenders for their massive defensive display saying it deprived his charges to get closer to their goal.

"After knowing that we were coming stronger, they sealed off their defence and because of their experience, we could not manage to break it until the match elapsed," he said.

It was the second back to back defeat for Kagera Sugar as prior to that, they lost 1-0 to Geita Gold at Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera hence dropping six points and have since made a long trip to face Tanzania Prisons at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya on Monday.

Tanzania Prisons picked one point in their previous game against Young Africans at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the city.

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Author: BENJAMIN BEN

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