SIMBA Head Coach Roberto Oliveira acknowledged his charges for reaching into the semifinals of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) while Ihefu Assistant Coach Zuberi Katwila conceded the outcome.
The Msimbazi Street Reds were ruthless as they stamped a 5-1 win over Ihefu in the competition’s quarterfinals at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam on Friday enough to pedal them to the last four.
They will now face Azam in the semis as the winner maneuvers to the finals slated at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga as already announced by the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF).
Simba’s hitman Jean Baleke claimed a hat-trick on the day preceding contributions from Saido Ntibazonkiza and a stoppage time goal by substitute Pape Sakho who sealed business for the hosting side.
For the visitors, Raphael Daudi netted the consolation goal mid-way into the second half which could not change anything on the day other than seeing them being bundled out of the contest.
“Of course I am happy to qualify for the semifinals and we played good football especially in the first half.
In the second half, I made several changes in order to give young players a chance to play,” Oliveira said. On his part, Katwila reiterated that nobody was to blame for the upset as they made mistakes which were positively utilised by their opponents thereby leading to the defeat.
“We are out of the competition and they (Simba) have moved on…this is the nature of the contest that one team should progress further. “We are now turning our focus to the Premier League match versus Simba on April 10th (tomorrow) at our Southern Highlands Estate Stadium hoping to get maximum points,” Katwila said.
So far, the venue (Southern Highlands Estate) has seen Young Africans and Azam dropping three points after succumbing to losses and Ihefu have been lethal at their backyard in the second round of the season.
A win will take Simba to 60 points from 25 matches, just five points inferior to the current table toppers, Young Africans who have bagged 65 points after playing 24 matches.
On the other hand, Ihefu who are safe from facing relegation can reach 36 points from 26 games if they manage to beat the Msimbazi Street giants.