Simba open lid on ‘sidelined’ players

SIMBA defended their move to sideline key players during their 1-1 draw with Namungo saying it was on technical reasons.

The club’s Media and Communication Manager Ahmed Ally said the key players were sidelined because they accumulated two yellow cards.

The outcome at Majaliwa Stadium in Lindi paved way for current league leaders Young Africans to have an upper hand in defending the Premier League title.

“Some people claimed we underrated them (Namungo) by sidelining our key players on the day but the reason they did not play is that prior to the game, they had already picked two straight yellow cards.

“As such, if they had played and accumulate another card, they could be suspended in our next game against Azam in the semifinals of Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) on Sunday,” Ally said.

He mentioned them as Clatous Chama, Mohammed Hussein and Shomari Kapombe who were not part of the squad that faced Namungo.

Meanwhile, Azam have envisioned a tough fixture against Simba as the two teams meet in the last four of  the ASFC match  at Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara this Sunday.

A winning side on the day cruise to the finals of the contest ready to face either Young Africans or Singida Big Stars set to battle in another last four category of the competition.

Traditionally, there has never been an easy match whenever Azam and Simba meet in any competition bearing the fact that each side has quality players.

Speaking recently in Dar es Salaam, Azam’s Media and Communication Officer Hasheem Ibwe said they are progressing well with preparations in order to emerge victors on the day.

“We are aware that Simba are a strong team with a good squad which is eager to stamp success in ASFC but that does not scare us because we are too a competitive side.

“Of late, in the Premier League, we have managed to be a better team over them (Simba) as we won in the first match before registering a draw in the second encounter,” he said.

Moreover, Ibwe highlighted that until now, they have no injury concerns in their team a thing he described as encouraging for them to stamp success on the day.

This happens to be the only golden chance for Azam to end the season with a trophy as they missed out an opportunity to scramble for the premier league championship.

To reach this far, they hammered Mtibwa Sugar 2-0 at Azam Complex while Simba defeated Ihefu at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium to make this an interesting semifinal encounter.

Simba’s trainer Roberto Oliveira is seeking his first ASFC title at the helm of the Reds to add colour to his coaching profile.

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