Simba: Al Hilal perfect test

SIMBA said they have reaped much from the international friendly game with Al Hilal staged at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

The two CAF Champions League (CAF CL) envoys tested each other’s skills ahead of their away group stage opening fixtures against Horoya FC and Mamelodi Sundowns respectively this Saturday.

The Msimbazi Street Reds had to wait until the 81st minute to cancel out Makabi Glody’s early goal in a tense and entertaining match as both sides approached it with a serious mentality.

After the game, Assistant Coach Juma Mgunda insisted that it was a deserved signal testing match for them prior to the Champions League mission.

“Yes, this is the type of game we wanted to embrace before our first group stage encounter against Horoya and some of the shortfalls which emerged will be corrected at the training ground,” Mgunda said.

He added that they target to escape defeat in their away game in order to build winning confidence among his charges in their follow-up duels.

Likewise, Al Hilal coach Florent Ibenge cherished the match saying though it was difficult, he picked positives from it before facing South Africa’s giants Mamelodi Sundowns.

“I believe we are now ready to go and face them (Mamelodi Sundowns). The three friendly matches played here have added value to my players and it is a good moment to see how they will operate on the day,” Ibenge said.

Al Hilal are packed in group B alongside Al Ahly (Egypt), Cotton Sport (Cameroon) and Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa).

For Simba, it was also a good weighing platform for their team ahead of the start of CAF CL group stage assignments as they felt the glimpse of an international match.

Their coach Roberto Oliviera has on several occasions insisted that his target is to help Simba do well in the champions league by winning the silverware.

As such, playing against Al Hilal added something crucial to his squad and facilitated the fighting spirit among his charges who have a reputation of doing well in international duties.

Packed in group C, Simba will have to get the better of Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Horoya FC (Guinea), and Vipers FC (Uganda) in order to go above the group stage line.

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