Tanzania: Mwinyi Graces Simba, Azam Final

SIMBA and Azam have drawn battle lines as they lock horns in the epic battle for the Mapinduzi Cup silverware at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar today.

Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi is expected to grace the final showdown, according to the Aimane Duwe, the Chairman of the Mapinduzi Cup Organising Committee.

Christened 'Mzizima Derby', the Mapinduzi Cup final in the Isles renews the two teams' rivalry of the recently played NBC Premier League's New Year opener of which Simba won 2-1 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

For Azam, they will be targeting to claim their sixth Mapinduzi Cup trophy while their colleagues Simba are seeking to stamp their third silverware of the tournament after clinching it twice.

However, today's encounter is completely different with its predecessor since the winning team will lift up the prestigious Mapinduzi Cup trophy plus 25m/- cash prize. On the other hand, runners up will not vacate the Isles empty handed as they will be 15m/- rich as reward for fighting hard to the last two stage of the tournament.

Whenever a trophy is on the standby, the footwork action on the pitch is usually big to both teams as they play lungs out to clinch it at the sound of the final whistle.

The duo have had a good ride in the elapsing tournament winning each fixture which came on their way but tonight, no matter the consequences, one team should taste the bitterness of losing a final game while directly facing the trophy.

Simba look to have gained their usual aggressiveness and authoritative formula of play which they applied to downsize Namungo with a 2-0 win in the semifinal match with goals from Meddie Kagere and Pape Sakho.

There was no way that Namungo could have managed to run away from the defeat as their opponents were all over the pitch winning second balls easily to trouble the Lindi based giants.

Simba coach Pablo Franco said every player in his squad is enjoying the game saying that is the reason his charges are playing good football worth watching.

On the other hand, Azam seem to have transformed a lot in their style of play under the interim coach Abdihamid Moallin, who is also eager to win his first trophy in Tanzanian soil.

Primarily, Moallin was hired as Technical Director of the club's Academy team, but was presented with the opportunity to take charge of the senior team after the resignation of the former Head Coach George Lwandamina.

He is, therefore, set to be keen to make history of winning the Mapinduzi Cup trophy as a caretaker as he has already shown that he can easily carry on his shoulders the full weight of the club.

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