Simba SC targets victory over JS Saoura

08Jan 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Simba SC targets victory over JS Saoura

SIMBA SC head coach, Patrick Aussem, has said his club's focus is on the first leg match of the Group D of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League against JS Saoura of Algeria slated for Saturday at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Simba SC players celebrate a goal the outfit scored in a recent game in the 2018/19 Mainland Premier League.

The coach issued the statement in a telephone interview from Zanzibar where he guided his side to two wins in the ongoing Mapinduzi Cup tournament.

Simba, featuring mostly reserve players, recorded a 4-1 win over Zanzibar's Chipukizi in the former's first match in the Group A of the Mapinduzi Cup, which is expected to climax at the end of this week.

The Tanzania soccer giants, featuring first team players, went on to post a hard fought 1-0 win over the Isles' other club, KMKM, on Sunday.

Simba are in Group D of the CAF Champions League alongside Al Ahly of Egypt, AS Vita Club of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Algerians.

The Belgian tactician said the two games in the Mapinduzi Cup has helped him come up with plans and combinations for the Saturday's CAF Champions League assignment.

He stated that his side has to improve its defense and the striking force with a view to cruising to victory over the Algerians, whom he said are not cheap opponents.

Aussem said at this stage of the continental tournament all games are extremely difficult, but his players are well prepared.

The coach said he is confident that his charges will carry the day on Saturday, as they are very good in all departments.

"I want to praise the character shown by my players in the two games we played in Zanzibar, our focus is on Saturday's game, but I will still be monitoring the games in Zanzibar as we are still in contention for the trophy," he noted.

"The Zanzibar games have helped me and my technical department staff assess our weaknesses and strengths and also come up with plans and combinations which will help us on the Saturday CAF game and other games."

The coach also said he is banking on home ground support and asked football lovers in the country to come in big number on Saturday to cheer their team.

"I have a team with incredible amount of motivation, but we need supporters to come in big number to cheer their team as this will make the players work extra hard," he said.

Simba, who are the country's sole representatives at the CAF tournament, boast of continuity of their squad and the side's good record at the National Stadium.

In the 2018/19 CAF Champions League matches, the Msimbazi Street-based side has not lost any game at the venue.

They beat Eswatini giants, Mbabane Swallows, 4-1 in the preliminary round and the former later thrashed Nkana FC of Zambia 3-1 in the first round. In all matches, Aussems had maintained the same squad with only very few changes.

The outfit also boasts of good and strong support  from its management.

One of the outfit's board members, Mulamu Ng'hambi, is reported to have said they will see to it that the team reaches the quarterfinals of the competition.

"We will see to it that the team is progressing to the quarterfinals, we will fight very hard in this group to make it to where we want, we will fight hard to achieve that," he said.

However, Simba have to prepare very well as the North African side has vast experience in African tournaments.

The Algeria outfit will definitely not be pushovers as they have good players who can raise to any occasion.

The Saturday game will also be a perfect home coming for Tanzania's Thomas Ulimwengu, who has just been signed by the Algerian club.