Arusha. High-flying Simba qualified for the semi-finals of the Azam Sports Federation Cup with a 1-0 win over stubborn Madini FC here yesterday.
A second half goal by Burundian striker Laudit Mavugo is all the Msimbazi Reds needed to silence the hosts in an exciting match at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium.
Simba, who have been in Arusha since last week, made a bright start but had to wait until five minutes to the hour mark to break the stalemate through Mavugo, whose superb header gave the hosts’ goalkeeper no chance.
Despite the defeat, Madini, a First Division side, played their hearts out in yesterday’s game, especially in the first half.
However, they slightly lost steam in the second half, allowing Joseph Omog’s men to take command of the game.
Shiza Kichuya almost made it 2-0 for the visitors in the 69th minute when his sizzling strike narrowly missed target.
Following the victory, Simba now join Mbao FC in the semi-finals of the tournament also known as FA Cup.
On Saturday, Mbao, who are making their first appearance in the Mainland Premier League, defied the odds to stun Kagera Sugar 2-1 at the Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba.
Kagera, who are regular campaigners in the topflight, were far from impressive in the match.
Mainland champions Young Africans and Azam FC will join Simba and Mbao in their semi-finals if they win their respective matches.
Yanga and Azam will confront Tanzania Prisons and Ndanda FC of Mtwara on dates yet to be revealed.
The FA Cup matches involving the two teams were put on hold because they were competing in the Africa club competitions.
Yanga bowed out of the CAF Champions League after battling to a barren draw with Zambia’s Zanaco in Lusaka on Saturday.
The Jangwani Street boys, who were forced to a one-all draw by the Zambia team in the first round, first leg match in Dar es Salaam a week ago, suffered elimination in the continent’s premier tournament on the away rule goal.
Meanwhile, Azam’s hopes to qualify for the next stage of the CAF Confederation Cup went up in thin smoke yesterday as they succumbed to a painful 3-0 defeat at the hands of Mbabane Swallows in Mbabane.
The former Cecafa Kagame Cup champions, who squeezed a 1-0 win over Mbabane in the first leg match at the Chamazi Complex a week ago, were outplayed in yesterday’s clash.
Their elimination means they have to turn ther focus to the FA Cup and Mainland Premier League, which is now inching towards the home stretch.