SIMBA SC Head Coach Sven Vandenbroeck predicted a tough 2020 Mapinduzi Cup final as his side take on Mtibwa Sugar at Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar today.
The two Mainland Premier League clubs battle it up in the Isles to get the new championship after the defending champions Azam FC were bundled out in the semifinal following a 3-2 post match loss to Simba on Friday.
It was one of the great last four games in this year’s competition which ended scoreless after the normal period of play hence spot kicks had to be played to separate the two teams.
The downfall deprived Azam an opportunity to clinch the title for fourth successive time thereby paving way for other teams to take charge of the silverware.
Despite their exit, still Azam are the most successful in Mapinduzi Cup as they have bagged the title five times (2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and 2019) while Simba have won it twice in 2011and 2015.
This year’s finalists Mtibwa Sugar have won only once in 2010 while also KCCA of Uganda won it in 2014 and URA also from Uganda claimed it in 2016.
On the other hand, Mtibwa Sugar overpowered Young Africans 4-2 in the first semifinal that was also decided by penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in a normal period.
The Morogoro-based side equalised in the dying minutes to force the game to be judged through the shootouts.
The defeat, made Yanga to be the first Tanzania Mainland team to return home from the battlefield thereby blowing away a possible chance to re-ignite the Dar es Salaam derby against traditional rivals Simba SC.
In his words, Vandenbroeck, who is eyeing to win the first silverware at the helm of the champions, reiterated that it will not be a simple final encounter.
“In finals, anything can happen because there are no favourites since every team plays to win,” he said.
He added that every team which plays against Simba is motivated to win as such, he expects a very tough final match against Mtibwa Sugar.
“During our game against Azam, I did not visualise that it would end in spot kicks basing on the numerous chances we created as the game unfolded, but unfortunately, we could not score and penalties gave us solution,” he said.
In a previous interview, Mtibwa Sugar coach Zuberi Katwila said he is not afraid of any team in the finals, insisting that after the normal period of play, the real winner will emerge.
The winner will pocket 15m/- while the runners up will walk away with 10m/- plus medals.