Dar es Salaam. Mainland Tanzania representatives in the African Champions League, Simba, today throw their first card in the competition against the Jeunesse Sportive de la Saoura Club of Algeria at the National Stadium.
The match has been scheduled to start from 4pm and all preparations are complete. The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Tulia Ackson, will be the guest of honour in the encounter to be officiated by Botswana referees.
The centre referee will be Joshua Bondo while his assistants will be Godisamang Oamogetse and Maomedi Monakwane. The group D match is expected to be the thrilling one following the preparations made by the two teams. Another group D match will be between Al Ahly and AS Vita in Cairo, Egypt.
Simba should not underrate JS Saoura, who will be under Tanzanian striker Thomas Ulimwengu who joined the team this season. Simba also have to be very keen to the team striker, Mohamed El Amine Hammia, who is the club leading scorer.
Simba SC head coach Patrick Aussems said his players are ready for the encounter and have taken all precautions. Aussems said they have trained well and rectified all of their mistakes that seemed to allow opposition teams to score against them.
“We are taking the encounter seriously as we know the importance of victory. Our first target was to reach the group phase but now we need to fight and qualify for the quarterfinal. It is not an easy match and we need big support from our fans and the commitment of the players is the key to game and other group phase outings,” said Aussems.
Aussems said they are not going to change their approach of the game. “We have scored 12 goals in the last four games, that’s our strength, and we will continue to play that way, we believe that our opponents will be in trouble,” he added. Simba’s goalkeeper, Aishi Manula, called upon soccer fans to attend the encounter and give them support. Manula said they are ready for the match and their main focus is on winning the game. “The most important thing is to win our first game. We understand that all the teams in the group phase are good but we play at home. We need to be very keen at all the time and utilize all clear scoring points ,” said Manula.