Simba coach proud of performance

16Aug 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Simba coach proud of performance

SIMBA assistant coach Jackson Mayanja, has been delighted in getting yet another opportunity to experiment his team and prepare for the Mainland premier league which has been slated to kick off on Saturday.

Simba drew 1-1 with visiting URA of Uganda in an international friendly match played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.

The visitors notched the opening goal early in the match and Simba equalised midway through the first half, when midfielder Jonas Mkude, beat URA keeper Mathias Muwanga, with a glancing header off a free kick from the right flank.
The Ugandan tactician noted that the Msimbazi Street side came up against competent opponents who played well in the match.

“We played tough opponents in URA, who played very well. My team also played well and it was, overall, a good match,” Mayanja noted.

It was a second consecutive international pre-season friendly for Simba in a space of a week and it offered the technical bench yet another crucial opportunity for spotting the team’s weaknesses and address them prior to the start of the Mainland Premier.

Simba played AFC Leopards of Kenya in the first international friendly match at the same venue on August 8, cruising to a 4-0 win.

Mayanja opted to start the match with newly recruited Burundian striker Laudit Mavugo and Ibrahim Ajib, but the duo struggled to form a good partnership, much as they managed to put fancy footwork on a few occasions.

Mavugo was under close watch from URA central defenders throughout the match and the former, in the process, failed to replicate his skilful displays he put up in the match against AFC Leopards.

Ajib was then rested for Ivorian striker, Frederic Blagnon in the closing stages of the match and the latter came close to score for his new outfit when his outstretched right foot met a free kick from the left, only to see the visitors’ defence block the attempt.

Mayanja also put his faith in defenders including Novatus Lufunga and Zimbabwe’s Method Mwanjali, who also played in the game against AFC Leopards and the duo, again, played well throughout the game against URA.

URA coach Kefa Lisala, said he already had knowledge of Simba’s game approach and he, therefore, opted for more compact game in all departments.

“We had earlier played Simba in the Mapinduzi Cup and they beat us 1-0, so today we came knowing we are going to play a big team with professionals and we had to approach them the way we did,” Kisala revealed.

He also disclosed he is now rebuilding the team given it parted ways with nine players and recruited ten new ones.