Tanzanian giants SIMBA have now turned focus on Mainland Premier League match against second placed title contenders, Azam FC to be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Patrick Aussems charges managed to grab a 3-0 victory over African Lyon on Tuesday evening at Sheikh Amri Abeid Kaluta Stadium in Arusha despite poor pitch condition.
Skipper John Bocco grabbed a brace with a goal in either half, while Adam Salamba netted one in a scrappy game at a venue packed to the brim.
Immediately after the match, Aussems said their concentration was now on Friday (tomorrow) game where his side will face another big test in their title defence campaign from Dutchman’s Hans Van der Pluijm side, Azam.
Simba are back in Dar es Salaam ahead of tomorrow’s match against the ‘ice-cream makers’ side, which is struggling in recent league matches.
Azam have managed to earn only three points in their previous four matches, losing one against Tanzania Prisons and three draws against Lipuli, Alliance FC and Coastal Union.
Recent victories against traditional rivals Young Africans and African Lyon will give Simba perfect momentum going into the game against Azam.
However, Aussems said that their target is to collect maximum points in all coming league matches, so as to ensure a better position to retain their title.
Against African Lyon, Aussems and his newly appointed assistant, Dennis Kitambi opted to rest some key players such as Meddie Kagere, Emmanuel Okwi, Jjuko Murshid and Clatous Chama probably to keep them fresh for Azam’s encounter.
The technical bench made the tactic changes to reduce fatigue on players, who featured in two consecutive big games against Egyptians Al Ahly in CAF Champions League and the Dar derby against Young Africans.
“We opted to rest some of players especially those who played in the match against Al Ahly and Yanga, so we had to make major rotation and I’m really pleased with the team’s performance today (Tuesday),” said the Belgian coach.
Victory against Lyon saw Simba maintaining their third position on the log after collecting 42 points from 17 games.
On his side, African Lyon skipper Jabir Aziz conceded the defeat, citing lack of game focus as the major reason for the loss.
Aziz, whose side is placed at the bottom of the league table with 21 points from 27 games, said playing under big pressure battling to rescue their side from relegation is another thing which has cost them in their games.
Meanwhile, Azam have also returned in Dar es Salaam after being away in four games, ready for the clash against Simba