Simba SC, Mtibwa Sugar battle for 2020 Mapinduzi Cup glory

13Jan 2020
Michael Mwebe
Zanzibar
The Guardian
Simba SC, Mtibwa Sugar battle for 2020 Mapinduzi Cup glory

SIMBA Sports Club and Mtibwa Sugar will battle for the right to be crowned 2020 Mapinduzi Cup champions when they meet in the final at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar tonight, kick-off at 20h15.

Simba SC defender, Pashal Wawa (R), shoots past Azam FC forward, Iddi Selemani, when the two outfits met in the last four of the 2020 Mapinduzi Cup, which took place in Zanzibar last weekend. Simba SC won 3-2 in penalty shootout to cruise to the final, slated for today. PHOTO; COURTESY OF SIMBA SC

Simba booked their place in the final thanks to a 3-2 penalty shootout win over Azam FC in the semis, having overcome Zimamoto 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

They are looking to win a fourth Mapinduzi Cup title, and their first since 2015 when they beat Mtibwa Sugar in the final.

They have appeared in six previous finals, the most recent was a 2-1 loss to Azam FC in the 2019 edition. That match also took place at Amaan Stadium.

At the beginning of the campaign, Simba won the Community Shield under Belgian head coach, Patrick Aussems, who has since been succeeded by a fellow Belgian, Sven Vandenbroeck.

Despite being only in charge of the squad in six matches, Vandenbroeck knows he has to deliver after two stalemates in his first two opening big games.

Mtibwa Sugar, meanwhile, claimed their place in the final thanks to a penalty shootout win over Young Africans (Yang) in the semis.

Mtibwa Sugar had beaten Chipukizi in a similar fashion in the previous round of the competition.

Mtibwa Sugar who are underdogs in this clash, will be hoping to cause an upset by lifting the Mapinduzi Cup for only the second time.

They won the trophy in 2010 by beating Ocean View of Zanzibar but the Morogoro side have been losing finalists in three occasions.

Four of the six 2020 Mapinduzi Cup matches have been decided by penalty shootout, suggesting that any match in this tournament can go either way.

However, one quirk within the Mapinduzi Cup record of the two teams will spark fear for Mtibwa Sugar, in two previous cup finals between the teams, Simba have emerged victorious on each and every occasion.

Will Mtibwa Sugar either rewrite the tournament’s history book and stun Simba or will the latter, popularly known as ‘Msimbazi Reds’, prove too strong for the sugarcane millers from Manungu?