SIMBA have received a timely boost after first choice goalkeeper Aishi Manula was discharged from the hospital and will be included in the trip to Sudan for CAF Champions League against Al Merreikh.
Manula landed awkwardly following a challenge from JKT Tanzania striker Danny Lyanga in their Mainland Premier League encounter at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Monday evening.
He was stretched out unconscious with 20 minutes remaining and rushed to Hubert Kairuki Memorial Hospital for further treatment and the club announced that he was discharged yesterday afternoon.
Simba are scheduled to jet off to Sudan today ahead of their weekend group A Champions League battle against the Sudanese giants.
According to the club’s Head of Information and Communication, Haji Manara, the squad will travel to Sudan ahead of their Match Day Three of the group with their number on shot stopper.
“Manula is doing well and will be part of the squad which will make the trip to Sudan,” Manara said.
Simba will head to Sudan at the backdrop of superb form in both Mainland Premier League and CAF Champions League.
Simba is the only team with a 100 per cent winning record, sitting top of the group with maximum six points.
The Msimbazi Reds have won their two opening matches of the group against much fancied AS Vita of the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC) posting a 1-0 victory away before registering victory of the same margin against Egypty’s Al Ahly at home.
Manara said that match against Al Merreikh was crucial for Simba as victory could place them one foot into the quarterfinals of the continental top tier club championships.
Skipper John Bocco, who was welcomed back in the squad on Monday against JKT Tanzania after long layoff due to injury, will also be included in the trip to Khartoum.
Heading into the match, Simba Head Coach Frenchman Didier Gomez Da Rosa, who will return to face his former side, has admitted they will face a tough game against Al Merreikh, who have lost all their two opening games of the group.
“It will be a very difficult game because I know that team; however, we still have some time to plan for it. “Right now, we should not be stressing ourselves regarding that game, considering we have time before playing it,” Da Rosa explained.
The Sudanese lost 3-0 against Al Ahly in Cairo in group opener before a 4-1 defeat at their home ground against AS Vita from DR Congo.
However, the French tactician is confident their 100 per cent winning form will boost up his side against their opponents away in Sudan on Saturday’s clash.
“The six points we have so far collected are vital to us and will be helpful in the future,” Gomez continued.
“Those points are the reason we are top of the group. They will also give us more confidence when we are engaged in our forthcoming assignments.”
Simba will be at the Blue Jewel Stadium in Omdurman clashing with Al Merreikh, while defending champions Al Ahly will be hosting AS Vita in Cairo in another group A battle on the same day.
Meanwhile, Simba Head Coach Didier Gomez Da Rosa has expressed his satisfaction with the performance displayed by his charges in a 3-0 rout of JKT Tanzania in the league match on Monday.
Simba were a class apart, knocking balls from side to side as their opponents kept chasing shadows almost throughout the 90 minutes.
Goals from Chris Mugalu, Luis Miquissone and John Bocco saw Simba bagging maximum points to close the gap with leaders Young Africans.
Simba remained second on the log with 45 points, four behind Yanga on 49 points. Simba have two matches in hand.
“We controlled the match very well and it was very important to start the match strongly and to control the game afterwards. I must pay tribute to my players because they played a very consistent match with intelligence.
“Maybe we could keep the ball more but really this squad of Simba is very strong and I appreciate being with them, I just like working with them.
“We were cruising very well, we were playing very well and winning 2-0 until Manula got injured, and we have a very big match coming up (against Al Merreikh), so I told my players to keep the ball and allow the opponents to run, and that is what they did. We are happy to have the three points.”
On whether he was impressed with the result, Da Rosa said: “I am very satisfied because we did not run too much for the ball, because if you keep the ball well then you don’t run too much, so we controlled the match, very well and we deserved to win.”