Wekundu wa Msimbazi were unable to stop their Kariakoo traditional rivals from winning their first trophy in the year
Simba SC have moved on after the Mapinduzi Cup defeat to Young Africans (Yanga SC) on Wednesday in Zanzibar.
Simba were beaten 4-3 from the penalty shootout after the match had ended with the scoreline tied at 0-0. The penalty misses by Joash Onyango – who was named the man of the match – and Meddie Kagere were responsible for their final loss.
Through a social media post, the Wekundu wa Msimbazi have stated the focus now is on the Caf Champions League games as well as the Mainland Premier League title defence.
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“You are our generals and we, as Simba supporters, love you so much,” Simba’s post read. “Let us now move forward and represent the country at the international level and also fight to ensure we defend the league title.”
Nyie ndio makamanda wetu na Wanasimba tunawapenda sana. Sasa tusonge mbele kwenda kuwakilisha nchi yetu kimataifa na kuhakikisha tunatetea ubingwa wa Ligi Kuu. #ThisIsSIMBA #NguvuMoja pic.twitter.com/XWTjbpkPRf
— Simba Sports Club (@SimbaSCTanzania) January 14, 2021
The local giants reached the group stage of the Champions League after seeing off Nigeria’s Plateau United and FC Platinum of Zimbabwe in the first and the second preliminary rounds respectively.
Upon landing on Group A, Simba were handed AS Vita, champions Al Ahly and El Merreikh.
On the domestic front, they face a huge task of defending the title as they have already lost two games and sit second to Yanga who are unbeaten after 17 matches. The Msimbazi club though have two games in hand owing to their Champions League participation.
Although they lost at the penultimate stage of the Mapindiuzi competition, the club’s Chief Executive Officer Barbara Gonzalez stated she is convinced they have a strong team.
Simba had to navigate a condensed programme to book the Yanga date, as explained by Gonzalez.
“Our players deserve to be lauded because they fought hard,” the CEO said. “Penalties have no owner and luck was not on our side. Four games in six days and two back-to-back? I would continue to insist that we have got a good team.”
Simba had to participate in the Mapinduzi competition without 11 players who were excluded on various grounds. They were also under interim head coach Selemani Matola who took charge after the exit of Sven Vandenbroeck.
Matola is expected to continue as an assistant coach when a new man is appointed after a thorough vetting process.