CROSS sections of football lovers in the country have expressed their dismay over poor performances by Tanzania teams at the ongoing SportPesa Super Cup.
Four local teams were mercilessly kicked out of the inaugural tournament at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Three of them were knocked out through spot kicks.
The first to bow out of the tournament were Singida United, who were knocked out by AFC Leopards on 5-4 penalties on Monday, then on Tuesday Jang’ombe Boys were defeated 2-0 by Gor Mahia. Giants Simba were knocked out by Nakuru All Stars on 5-4 penalties on Tuesday.
And, on Thursday, Mainland Premier League champions, Young Africans, bow out of the tournament after being knocked out by the mighty AFC Leopards on 4-2 penalties in the semis stage. AFC Leopards will now face Gor Mahia, who outplayed Nakuru All Stars 2-0 on Thursday at the same venue.
The most painful part though is that come tomorrow when the final of the SportPesa Super Cup will be played, the home fans will have to follow the drama unfolding at the stadium without necessarily putting on colours of their home teams.
Instead, they will leave it to Kenyans to fully enjoy themselves since regardless of which team wins, the glittering silverware of SportPesa Super Cup plus 66m/- winners cash will head to Kenya. And, this suggest that Kenyans will come up in their large numbers for the major purpose of escorting their trophy back home after clinching it from foreign territory.
The saddest part is that all the three Mainland teams pushed out of the lucrative tournament are the ones which enjoy heavy investment in football and are expected to bring major changes in the forthcoming Vodacom Premier League (VPL).
Singida United for instance, currently the household name in the country following its huge attention from the sports fraternity in respect to its heavy investment it is doing in this sports industry. Most people expected the fresh legs from them to do wonders in SportPesa Super Cup and warn other league teams of what they should expect to face come next season.
However, they were the first team to unlock the exit door of the tournament. This simply left many sports fans in awe as they failed to comprehend about how such an ambitious team could exit the competition tenderly like that. In the streets, a lot is being said in response with the overall performances showcased by the triple part teams which participated in SportPesa Super Cup from homeland.
“To say the truth, Tanzania football is popular within our own boundaries but outside the country, the level is still below expectations. See how Singida United, Simba SC and Young Africans performed during the SportPesa Super Cup. The mode of play was far from better,” said a Dar es Salaam football fan Thomas Joseph.
“Some teams from Kenya like Nakuru All Stars do play in the First Division League but caused troubles to our big clubs and even eliminated them from the tournament,” lamented Joseph. However, some fans gave credit to Tanzania teams despite early exit from the Cup.
“I want to salute all the teams from this country for fighting hard throughout the tournament. The only thing that was an obstacle towards our team’s success is luck. Remember that the three clubs were dumped out on penalty shootouts,” urged Peter Ronald.
SportPesa Super Cup reaches climax tomorrow at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam whereby Kenyan bases clubs AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia will battle it for trophy and 66m/- cash award. The winner will also play a friendly match against English Premier League side, Everton FC on July 13th at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.