Simba eager to overcome Al Masry

07Mar 2018
The Guardian
Simba eager to overcome Al Masry

TANZANIA's representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, Simba SC, has said it will be out to defeat opponents Al Masry of Egypt in the first leg of the first round at the Narional Stadium in Dar es Salaam today.

Simba players celebrate a goal the side netted in a recent Mainland Premier League match in Dar es Salaam.

Simba's assistant coach, Masoud Djuma, said his team is prepared tactically and technically for the encounter as the outfit aims at scoring more goals against the Egyptian giants.

He said although the visitors have a very good record in CAF games, his team has all the capacity and ability to defeat the latter.

“The game tomorrow (today) won’t be simple but we are tactically and technically good, we have left no stone unturned in preparations for the match," the Burundian tactician said.

“Nothing is impossible. We need to have self belief that we can score more goals, we have to press them hard so that we should score more goals."

“We are all ready for the game against Al Masry, we have prepared well, we are looking at nothing short of a win, the players and even the supporters know the importance of winning this game.”

In an effort to intensify preparations for the match, Simba hired psychologist, Chris Mauki, to drill the team on psychological readiness for the team before and during the game.

The outfit opted to hire Mauki after a dismal performance in last week's Mainland Premier League's match against Stand        United of Shinyanga, which ended with the two teams settling for a 3-3 draw.

After the Stand United game, Djuma told the media that the results came about as the players were focusing on today's game against Al Masry.

Al Masry, who are currently placed fourth in Egypt Premier League with 48 points, are coached by one of the country's football legends, Hossam Hassan.

The Egyptian side made it to the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup with a 5-2 aggregate win over Green Buffaloes of Zambia in the preliminary round.

Simba, who are leading the rest of the pack in the 2017/18 Mainland Premier League and are coached by experienced and veteran French gaffer, Pierre Lechantre, reached the first round of the continental competition by beating Djibouti's Gendermarie 5-0 on aggregate.

Hassan, who arrived in Tanzania a few days ago with a contingent of 40 people, told  the media that his team is in the country for a win.

He acknowledged that beating Simba at their backyard will not be easy but Al Masry are well prepared for the encounter.

“We have come here for a win and we are ready for it, my charges are all prepared for the game, yes it will be difficult but we are well prepared and ready,” he said. 

The two teams will meet in the second leg at Al Masry's backyard, Ismailia Stadium, on March 17 and the winning team will progress to the next round, which will see participating clubs seek a place in the group stage of the competition.