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Simba coach wary of Al Merrikh threat

Thursday March 04 2021
SIMBA PIC

Simba players listen to their head coach, Didier Gomes, during the team’s training session at their Bunju Complex. Simba left the country yesterday for Khartoum, Sudan, ahead of the African Champions League groups stage match against Al Merrikh on Saturday. PHOTO | FILE

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Simba Sports Club head coach Didier Gomes has said they are not underestimating Al Merrikh of Sudan despite the fact that the Sudanese side are yet to win a single match in the African Champions League groups stage match.

A total of 25 players of Simba Sports Club left the country yesterday for Khartoum, Sudan, ready to face Al Merrikh on Saturday. The Sudanese have so far lost two matches. They lost 3-0 to holders Al Ahly of Egypt and later 4-1 at their home ground against AS Vita Club of DR Congo. Simba are at the top of their group table with six points after winning two matches. Simba won 1-0 against AS Vita Club in Kinshasa, DR Congo and later 1-0 against Al Ahly at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

Gomes said Al Merrich are one of the strong teams on the African continent and Simba are taking the encounter seriously.

He said they have trained well and his players are ready for the battle scheduled to start at 9pm on Saturday at the Al Hilal Stadium.

Gomes said they are facing a tough game, but added that his players are aware of their commitment to come out with good results.

“We have followed our opponents. So, we know how to counter them in the duel. Al Merrikh have the best players and I predict the encounter to be tough because the team have not won a single match since the start of the groups stage,” said Gomes.

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The players who left the country are Aishi Manula, Beno Kakolanya, Ally Salim, Shomari Kapombe, Joash Onyango, Pascal Wawa and Erasto Nyoni, Gadiel Michael, Mohamed Hussein, Jonas Mkude, Rally Bwalya, Mzamiru Yassin and Luis Miquissone. Also, on the list are Hassan Dilunga, Ibrahim Ajibu, Clatous Chama, Francis Kahata, Meddie Kagere, John Bocco, Miraj Athuman, Kope Mugalu, Peter Muduhwa, Tadeo Lwanga, Kennedy Juma and David Kameta

Three players Ibrahim Ame, Benard Morrison and Perfect Chikwende did not travel with the team due to unavoidable reasons.

The team players will take home Sh200 million, if they win the encounter. The amount has been set aside by the chairman of the team’s Board Directors, Mohammed “Mo” Dewji, who also rewarded the players for winning against AS Vita Club in the opening encounter in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

Simba players have also been paid Sh200 million for their victory against Al Ahly at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

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