Zanzibar. A mammoth crowd is expected at the Amaan Stadium here today when star-studded Simba and Mtibwa Sugar face off in the 2020 Mapinduzi Cup final.
The clash offers both Simba and Mtibwa the chance to claim a first trophy of the 2018/20 season and perhaps a valuable psychological boost too.
Mtibwa coach Zuberi Katwila said yesterday that his team is capable of producing an upset when they take on the Mainland soccer giants.
Mtibwa reached this stage at the expense of Young Africans, and Katwila is confident of his team’s chances against the Msimbazi Reds.
“Nothing is impossible in football, and we’re confident of our abilities,” Katwila said.
“We have the same chance of winning the Mapinduzi Cup title as Simba,” he added.
In the semi-finals, Mtibwa beat Yanga 4-2 on post-match penalties after the normal 90 minutes had ended in a 1-1 draw at the same venue, last week.
On Saturday, Katwila’s men underwent a light training at the Mau Tse Tung ahead of what promises to be a nail-biting encounter.
“We are totally aware of Simba’s might, but we are ready for the challenge,” the Morogoro-based team’s coach added.
For his part, Simba assistant coach Selemani Matola was brimming with confidence yesterday as he declared that his team was ready to play in what he believes will be one of the best Cup finals the domestic football scene.
“This is a Cup final and Cup finals are games that are really tough. Even though we would like to score many goals, we will see how it goes,” he said.
He added: “We are taking this game seriously. Our fans should expect positive results.”
His confidence stems from the fact that. Despite missing a number of their key players, including Deo Kanda and Catous Chama, Simba still outclassed defending champions Azam FC in the semi-final clash last week.
Matola said his players were in high spirits, raring to give their fans something to smile about today – a win against Mtibwa.
The Msimbazi Reds beat the ice cream makers 3-2 on penalties after the normal 90 minutes failed to produce the winner.
Simba striker Meddie Kagere and team captain John Bocco are among players Mtibwa must mark tightly if they are to avoid defeat in today’s final.
The Mainland Premier League leaders Simba were busy yesterday, perfecting their tactics ahead of the match.
Meanwhile, Tanzania Prisons succumbed to a shock 3-2 defeat at the hands of minnows Namungo FC in the Mainland Premier League match at the Samora Memorial Stadium in Iringa yesterday.