Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

31 December 2012

Tanzania: Leaky Simba Defence Worries Coach

TUSKER FC coach Robert Matano has warned Simba, to sort out their porous defence before the problem affects their chances of successful campaign in the CAF Champions League early next year.

Simba succumbed to a humiliating 0-3 defeat to Kenya champions Tusker FC in an international friendly match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, and Matano felt defensive woes were a big let down to the reigning Mainland champions.

He said Simba concentrate too much on passing and show off game, adding that it is easy to kill them off because they concede sloppy goals. He said it was a different story with Simba's rivals Yanga, who are a bit tough and quick, and scoring goals is their mission.

"Simba are a good team. They play an enterprising football with lots of passing and swift movements, which is a bit different with Yanga who are much more direct and focused on results," he said.

"Simba should be concerned. When you are conceding easy goals at any level you want to put it to a stop. They should rectify this problem because I know they will be competing in the Champions League next year," he said.

Simba manager Jamhuri Kihwelo 'Julio' said they deployed youthful squad to gauge their ability, saying defeat against Tusker was not a concern for them. "We have taken positives from this match; you could see how our young team played. I believe these players we saw today (Saturday) just need many more matches to hit their mark. I will advise the coming coach to use them regularly," he said.

The Msimbazi Reds started with an under strength squad with the likes of Wilbert Mweta starting between the posts, while youthful Haruna Othman, Abdallah Seseme and Hassan Khatib all started. And, Tusker, were in no mood to spare Simba as they put them to the sword to add to the fans' woes of not seeing their new coach as promised by the leadership.

Simba controlled the match from start but were wasteful with the opportunities they created, but the visitors hit back strongly shortly before the break, scoring twice in ten minutes. Tusker punished Simba with a 37th and 45th minutes with strikes from Geoffrey Were.

The first was a powerful finish after he cleverly beat central defenders Malian Komanbil Keita and Hassan Khatib to lob past advancing goalkeeper Wilbert Mweta, while the second was a clean finish, as he connected home a neat pass from Ishmael Dunga.

Simba were dead and buried shortly after the restart when Fredrick Onyango headed in the third in 53rd minute, this time capitalizing on the aerial bombardments forward that gave Simba defenders hectic moment. Both Simba and Tusker used the match as part of their preparation for the CAF Champions League.

Tusker first Champions League match will be against St. Michel from Seychelles in mid February 2013, while Simba will start their campaign against Recreativo Libolo of Angola. Meanwhile, after winning both their build up matches against Simba and Yanga, Kenyan Premier League Champions Tusker FC will head to Zanzibar where they will participate in the Mapinduzi Cup scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Tusker has been pooled along with Simba SC whom they beat 3-0 in a friendly match played at the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam on Sunday evening. The other teams in the Pool are Pemba Islands and Bandari. In Group B, Azam FC, Mtibwa Sugar, Coastal Sugar and Miembeni will square off.

The Mapinduzi Cup is a celebration of the people of Zanzibar to commemorate 49 years of Zanzibar's independence. The tournament will be officially opened by a mouth watering clash pitting Tusker FC and Simba SC at the Amman Stadium. Winners of the tournament will pocket 10m/-, while runners-up gets 5m/-.

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