DAR ES SALAAM: SIMBA have apologised to their fans following Sunday’s 5-1 defeat against archrivals Young Africans, vowing to quickly move from the heavy loss.
The Msimbazi Street Reds were left shell-shocked at the Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam after a second half collapse resulted in their heaviest derby defeat in over five decades.
After a closely contested first half in which the two giant clubs finished tied 1-1, things took a turn for the worse with Oliveira Robertinho’s team conceding four goals in the closing half, suffering their first defeat of the season.
While the devastating loss has raised concerns among Simba supporters, there is little time to dwell on the setback. Attention now turns to a banana-skin test against Namungo on Thursday with Azam lying in wait in their next two league fixtures. Thus, is followed by a CAF Champions League group stage opener against ASEC Mimosas later this month.
Simba need an instant response to avoid descending into a full crisis.
Reacting to the catastrophic loss, the team’s vice-captain Mohamed Hussein was quick to apologise to their supporters, urging his teammates to swiftly put the defeat behind them and focus on their upcoming league games.
“This is not the results we anticipated…we apologise to our fans within and outside the country. The league is not yet over, and we are going to bounce back stronger in our next matches,” he said.
He said the squad have to stand up and take responsibility because despite playing to their game plan, they were outclassed by their bitter rivals.
On his part, Simba Information and Communication Manager, Ahmed Ally apart from apologising to members and club supporters for the humiliating defeat, insisted on focusing on achieving the objectives for the season.
“It’s very sad because this loss goes into records, but all in all the game is over and we have seen our weaknesses, and it is high time for the technical bench and players to work on them. Now we need to focus on our coming games as well as our main focus for this season,” he said.
For his side, former Simba player Dua Said called for the team’s technical bench and players to learn from their recent African Football League (AFL) fixtures against Al Ahly and Sunday’s derby clash against Yanga and rectify their weaknesses.
“This should help them to know where they made mistakes and what they should do to eradicate them in their next games otherwise, the same mistakes will continue to be repeated,” he said.
Moreover, he hailed the fighting spirit displayed by Simba’s net-burster Kibu Denis who netted the solitary goal for the Reds on the day, saying the team needs to have many players of his calibre.
On the other hand, despite the massive triumph, Yanga coach Miguel Gamondi revealed that there is still a long way to go before commenting about the season’s championship.
“Today’s results have nothing to do with the league title because the season is long with many games to be played, we must continue to work hard in all our upcoming games,” he said.
Congolese midfielder Maxi Nzengeli, who scored a brace for his side, said the secret to their big victory was hard work and nothing else.
“There is nothing much other than good preparations and working hard…we fought hard for the victory and thank God we have won the encounter,” he said.
Up next, Yanga will play Coastal Union at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga tomorrow in a solo Premier League match while Simba will host Namungo in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.