AFTER completing their Champions League campaign, Simba lock horns with Namungo today at Majaliwa Stadium in Lindi before traveling to Mtwara to face Azam in the Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) semi-final on Sunday.
In a press briefing yesterday, Simba’s Assistant Coach, Juma Mgunda said his squad is upbeat to clear Namungo hurdle today before facing Azam this Sunday.
He said players’ morale is high even after the end of Champions League campaign in which Simba lost 4-3 in a penalty shootout to Wyadad Casablanca.
“We back safe and sound and are well prepared for tomorrow’s game. Our goal is to snatch the maximum points in Lindi.
“We still can win the title, so this game is crucial. So we must work hard to get points in the rest of the matches. It will put us in the best position in the title race.”
“The responsibility we have right now is the league matches and the ASFC semi-final. The players know their responsibility, so we are ready to continue with the tasks ahead of us,” Mgunda added.
In retrospect, Namungo’s Head Coach, Denis Kitambi, said they recognize Simba’s quality and position in the league and they are well drilled to face them.
“We know we are playing against the best team in the league, so we are ready to face them and secure the three points.
Meanwhile renovation of Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara region for the epic Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) semifinals between Simba and Azam is almost complete and the match will be staged there this Sunday.
Previously the teams were to meet there on May 6th this year, but the governing body, Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) announced yesterday it has moved the match to Sunday at the same venue.
As revealed by the Chairman of Mtwara Football Association, Athuman Kambi the stadium’s renovation including its pitch is almost complete.
“It is going to be 100 per cent done by this week and we thank TFF for the timely support we have got so far,” he said.
Simba play Azam after ending their CAF Champions League campaign against Wydad Casablanca and the club said officials were quoted as saying players turned their focus on ASFC after the end of their Champions League mission.
To reach this far, Simba mauled Ihefu 4-1 at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam as the team’s goal poacher Jean Baleke sealed a hat-trick in the first half netting in the 2nd, 15th, and 28th minute respectively before Saido Ntibazonkiza made it 4 nil 11 minutes later.
On the other hand, a 10-man Azam, hammered Mtibwa Sugar 2-0 to book a last-four ticket versus the Reds in a seemingly tense and competitive encounter worth watching.
However, the Chamazi-based outfits suffered a setback when center-back Daniel Amoah received marching orders in the 21st minute of the game after grounding a racing Mtibwa Sugar player prompting the referee to give him a red card.
This happens to be the third time that the two teams are facing this season after meeting twice in the Premier League of which the first game elapsed 1-0 in favour of Azam while the second duel ended 1-1 to share the spoils.
In that regard, the upcoming fixture remains unpredictable and anything can happen.