Simba, Azam face Zanzibar test in Friendship Cup
Mainland Premier League giants, Simba and Azam FC, will be looking to go a step further in their pursuit for the inaugural Tanzanian Friendship Cup silverware, when they square up with Zanzibar opponents in two semi-final ties to be staged at the Amaan Stadium on Monday.
Azam FC, who still hold sweet memories of lifting the Mapinduzi Cup staged earlier this year in the Zanzibar isles, will be up against Super Falcon in the first semi-final clash, which is due to kick off at 16:00hrs local time.
The last year’s Premier League runners-up booked their semifinal place after beating Mafunzo 3-2 in their last group match played at the same venue last Friday.
Again, the ice-cream makers will rely on the Ivorian striker Kipre Tchetche, who has in every of their three group matches, to overcome Super Falcon and move a step closer towards clinching their second title here in the spicy islands.
Meanwhile, Premier League champions, Simba, should brace for a potential banana skin tie against Zanzibar All Stars when the two face off in the second semi-final clash from 20:00hrs, also at the Amaan Stadium in Unguja.
Simba sealed a semi-final berth with a 1-0 win over Zanzibar’s Under-23 side, Karume Boys in a thrilling group B match that took place at the same venue on Friday night. Returning Zambian striker Felix Sunzu notched the solitary goal in the 58th minute.
Milovan Cirkovic’s side finished top of the group on seven points after winning two matches and drawing in one.The winner of this year’s Urafiki Cup will get Sh 10 million while Sh 5 million will go the second placed.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday and Sunday and the final will be held next Wednesday. Tuesday is a resting day.Zanzibar Football Association (ZFA) has organised the tournament with a view to strengthening relationship among clubs and sports fans in Tanzania.
For Simba, Azam and Mafunzo, the tournament is part of their preparations for this year’s East and Central Africa club championship, scheduled to kick off from July 14 in Dar es Salaam.
By MWAJUMA JUMA, Tanzania Daily News
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