Azam FC eyes place in Federation Cup semis            

20Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Azam FC eyes place in Federation Cup semis            

AZAM FC has begun preparing for the last eight stage’s match of this year’s Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) against Kagera Sugar minus four players that have earned a call up for their respective senior national soccer teams.

Azam FC players take part in training session at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam recently to prepare for the ongoing Mainland Premier League and the Azam Sports Federation Cup. PHOTO: COURTESY OF AZAM FC 

The game has been slated to take place at the Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera on March 29 and, as disclosed by Azam FC officials through the club’s website, the outfit takes the encounter seriously with a view to booking a place in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

Azam FC that will miss out on the training sessions, which started yesterday, include the side’s skipper Aggrey Morris, defensive midfielder Mudathir Yahya (Tanzania), right fullback Nicolas Wadada (Uganda) and offensive midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Zimbabwe).

The quartet has reported to the respective national teams’ training bases to shape up for the qualifiers for the 2019 AFCON finals, which will be played in Egypt.

Azam FC has been enjoying an impressive run in domestic competitions after interim coaches, Idd Nassor Cheche and Abdul Mingange, had taken over the squad’s technical bench.

The club has registered resounding wins in four consecutive games, a situation that has impressed the club’s supporters.

In the four games, Azam FC coasted to a 3-0 victory over Tabora’s Rhino Rangers in the fifth round game of the ASFC, and the city giants, thereafter, thrashed African Lyon (3-1), JKT Tanzania (6-1) and Singida United (4-0) in the Mainland Premier League games.

Cheche has already made it clear he is waiting for his players in the training so he can give the latter tactics for the ASFC quarterfinal duel with Kagera Sugar.

The coach disclosed it is too early to comment on the game much as he admitted the match is, to his squad, almost like a final.

Azam FC is set to head to Kagera on March 25 to lock horns with Kagera Sugar in the last eight stage match.

The ASFC champions are set to represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup next season, apart from receiving a trophy and cash prize of 50m/-.

Azam FC technical bench had already made it clear the side will go all the way to this year’s tournament’s final with the aim of winning silverware and competing in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

“The ASFC games are finals, we take them seriously. I appreciate the players are in great shape and everyone is playing his heart out when he gets opportunity to take part in a game,” Cheche disclosed.

“I cannot disclose our preparations for the assignment. I’m waiting for the players today with a view to starting preparations for taking on Kagera Sugar.”

The last eight stage of the ASFC will as well see African Lyon come up against Kinondoni Municipal Council FC, Lipuli FC face Singida United, Yanga, winners of the inaugural ASFC, lock horns with Alliance FC.

Morogoro’s Mtibwa Sugar, winners of the ASFC in the previous season, kissed this year’s competition goodbye in the fifth round as they were knocked out by KMC FC via penalties.