AZAM FC are relishing away Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) quarter-final clash with Simba and has one eye on semis.
The ‘ice cream makers’, who the defending champions, have been drawn against Simba in the quarterfinals to be staged on June 28th this year at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Azam’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Abdulkarim Amin did not mind which side his team drew, but he was glad to be paired against Simba.
He said Azam clearly know that at this stage of the competitions, they will face one of the good teams because reaching this far means all eight teams almost at the same level.
“At this stage of the competitions, you’re going to come across really good teams, so we’re delighted to be at this level and ready to face Simba,” he said.
This will be the fourth time that Azam and Simba face off in all competitions this season.
In the past three outings, Simba won all three matches and Amin believes that the coming encounter will present an opportunity for them to revenge.
“They (Simba) won against us in the semifinals of ASFC in 2017; we also do not have a good record against Simba recently, as they have won against us in two league games this season and in the Community Shield “It is not that they are better than us, both teams have good players and when we meet, we both possess the game but the only difference is that they have been taking their chances well.”
“If we prepare ourselves properly we will beat them. We are the defending champions and this tournament is our biggest opportunity to earn a ticket for CAF club competition next season,” he said.
In response, Simba are also confident that they will sweep past Azam and secure both ASFC and Mainland Premier League titles.
“We intend to take this cup, along with league title. We do not belittle anyone, competitions are competitions and we are here to compete for the purpose of winning. All eight teams that have remained in this tournament are outstanding, so the games will be intense,” said a representative from Simba, Hamis Kisiwa.
On the other side, Young Africans General Secretary, David Luhago has predicted a tough encounter against Kagera Sugar but noted that he is confident with his club.
Yanga will have a lot to prove against the Bukoba lads, as they thrashed them 3-0 in the league match this season. And, Luhago is adamant that Yanga will go for nothing but revenge.
There is a big possibility to witness the third traditional derby this season only if Simba defeat Azam and Yanga demolish Kagera Sugar in the last eight of the ASFC.
According to the recent draw of the competition, the four teams Simba, Azam, Yanga and Kagera Sugar were placed in the same category, meaning that the two winning teams will face each other in the last four.
Similarly, the other pack which will see Alliance FC taking on Namungo FC and Sahare All Stars hosting Ndanda FC will see the two best teams facing one another in the semi-finals of the competition.
Already, tension has begun boiling among supporters of the two oldest clubs in the country with each side sugar-coating the team they love, saying they will meet in the semifinals to see the best side.