JS Saoura jets in Dar tomorrow

09Jan 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
JS Saoura jets in Dar tomorrow

SIMBA SC opponents in the first match of the Group D of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League, JS Saoura of Algeria, arrives in Dar es Salaam tomorrow night for the game slated for Saturday at the National Stadium.

JS Saoura head coach, Nabil Neghiz.

Haji Manara, Simba's Head of Information and Communication Department, said the North Africa giants have communicated to them through the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) that they will come on Thursday night. Manara said all is set to welcome the visitors.

Simba are in the Group D of the continental club competition along with Al Ahly of Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s AS Vita Club and the visiting North Africa giants.

He also disclosed that other Simba’s first team players are expected to arrive in Dar es Salaam today from Zanzibar where they are competing in the ongoing Mapinduzi Cup and while in the city the players will go straight to camp to prepare for the Saturday encounter.

“Our opponents will be in the country on Thursday night and as usual we will accord them a warm welcome… our first team’s players who were in Zanzibar for the Mapinduzi Cup are coming tomorrow (today) for the game, once they reach the city they will go straight to camp to prepare for the encounter,” he said.

Manara also disclosed that executive members of the club and technical panel has agreed that the outfit has to register victory in all home matches to stand a chance of sailing through to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

"They must do all they can to collect the possible nine points from all of the three games, which will be played at home," the official said.

He said should the team manage to collect nine points, it will have realistic chances of reaching the quarterfinals.

“This is it. We have this good feeling that we will make Tanzanians smile as we seek to turn the National Stadium into our fortress in this campaign," he noted.

“Our plan is to collect the possible nine points from three games which we will play at home, it is possible as the management and executive committee of the club are ready for it."

"The technical panel and players are also ready, even football loving Tanzanians are also ready, the good thing is that the government and TFF are all behind us.”

The official said his confidence stems from a positive atmosphere within his club’s squad.

“Everyone knows that the atmosphere in our camp is amazing, all of the players know they are up against a giant, but they are prepared to sweat blood to put a smile on faces of football loving Tanzanians,” he said.

He also asked all soccer loving Tanzanians to turn up at the National Stadium in big number on Saturday so as to cheer their team.

Manara said the entry fees on Saturday are affordable, noting they have done so because they know that fans are the 12th player.

“We are urging all Tanzanians to come and rally behind their team and create an intimidating atmosphere for our opponents, the gate fees are reasonable for everyone,” he said.

But on a sad note, Manara said experienced defender, Erasto Nyoni, will miss the Saturday match as he has been ruled out of action up to mid next month due to the injury he sustained during Simba’s match against KMKM in the Mapinduzi Cup tournament.

He said Nyoni’s injury is a big blow to his side as he has been outstanding in both local and international competitions. However, the Simba official said Ugandan import, Juuko Murshid, will replace Nyoni.

Manara said Murshid is an experienced and seasoned player, who has helped his country qualify for the finals of this year’s African Cup of Nations and has also played many international matches for Simba.

This means Nyoni will miss the Saturday game and an away game to AS Vita Club and other domestic league matches.

Meanwhile, JS Saoura head coach, Nabil Neghiz, is reported to have said the only biggest threat to his side in the group is Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Neghiz said his side are aware of the difficult task ahead of them but noted they will do their best to book one of the two qualifying tickets to the last eight stage.

"We were drawn in a very tough group, Ahly are the club of the century in Africa, thus, our game against them will be very tough. Our fans can't wait to see Ahly in Algeria. It will be a historic event."

Neghiz said JS Saoura are capable of overcoming the other two challengers in the group.

"I think Vita Club and Simba are inferior to Al Ahly and our mission against them will not be difficult," he added.

"Our group is very difficult but we will defend our chances until the final match of the group stage."