Simba coach unfazed by Algerian test today

12Jan 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Simba coach unfazed by Algerian test today

SIMBA SC say they are ready for today’s CAF Champions League Group D encounter against JS Saoura of Algeria at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Simba SC players celebrate a goal the squad netted in the 2018/19 Mainland Premier League match against Ruvu Shooting at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam recently. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TFF

Simba head coach Patrick Aussems said his charges are ready for this afternoon's game and the morale in the camp is high.

 

While anticipating a tight-skin affair, the ever upbeat tactician declared that it is a must win match for his side, underlining that he gives them an advantage ahead of the reverse fixture set for Algeria in a fortnight.

 

“The fact that we have been active at Mapinduzi Cup will be a good thing for us. We just want the boys to have the right mentality and play their game, but our ultimate aim is to win tomorrow's game. We respect them but we don’t fear them,” the Belgian veteran coach intoned.

 

He maintained his call to soccer lovers to flock to the venue in large numbers to cheer the team, emphasizing that supporters are important as they motivate the players to work extra hard.

 

“We are ready but I’m asking all Tanzanians to come to the National Stadium to cheer their team. This is the match which we want to win at all costs, as a win will be a morale booster ahead of other game, “he said.

 

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Tulia Ackson, is expected to lead Tanzanians in cheering their team in today’s tight skin encounter.

 

Simba, who qualified for the group stage of the continental club competition after beating Mbabane Swallows and Nkana FC in the preliminary and first round stages, will be without their hardworking defender, Erasto Nyoni, who was injured during the Mapinduzi Cup match against KMKM.

 

“Nyoni is a key player, yes, but we aren’t losing sleep. We are ready, very ready; we have other good players who can take his place,” the coach said.

 

The coach was right to feel confident as he has a wide range of choice players with vast experience, in keeper Aishi Manula, skipper John Bocco, Paschal Wawa, Meddie Kagere, Emmanuel Okwi, Clatous Chama, James Kotei, Jonas Mkude and Haruna Niyonzima.

 

The veteran players are blended with youthful caps like Rashid Juma, who shows promise of a player with a bright future.

 

The next assignment for Simba in the CAF Champions League’s Group D will be against AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a week's time.

 

JS Saoura arrived in Dar es Salaam on Thursday night with Thomas Ulimwengu making the squad. The former TP Mazembe player is reported to have said the Algeria outfit is ready and they are here with a mission to win today’s game.

 

The Algeria side’s manager Nabil Neghiz is reported to have said his side's major threat in Group D is Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

 

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

 

"We were drawn in a tough group.  Al 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 Al Ahly in Algeria. It will be a historic event," Neghiz affirmed.

 

Neghiz said Saoura are capable of overcoming the other two challengers (Simba and AS Vita Club) in the group.

 

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

 

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

 

Today’s match will be officiated by referees from Botswana, with Joshua Bondo as central referee, assisted by Godisamang Oamogetse and Maomedi Monakwane.