Simba suffered a 3-0 defeat to Kenyan Premier League giants, Sofapaka FC, in an international friendly match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Thursday. in what turned out to be part of the former’s final preparations for the Mainland Premier League, which is expected to kick off on September 15.
The Mainland Premier League champions had camped in Arusha for the past three weeks, in which the team embarked on intensive training apart from playing a couple of friendly matches with both domestic and foreign outfits.And Milovan feels his side’s performance in the Thursday match has given him plenty of hopes on the ability to perform well in the Mainland Premier League, although the Msimbazi Street side endured a frustrating outcome.
“Yeah, my team is ready for the league. From what I saw today (Thursday), I have no doubt about my team’s readiness for the league,” said the Serbian.Cirkovic said his side did have opportunities in front of Sofapaka goal in either half but the former’s strikers were unfortunate not to score.
“We were unlucky not to score today. They (Sofapaka) had chances and exploited them,” he said.Circkovic also noted that his squad’s striking force was slowly developing team cohesion and he was optimistic the strikers will live up to expectations in the forthcoming league.Simba matched their opponents’ pace for the better part of the Thursday friendly but the Msimbazi Street side was let down by profligacy in front of the visitors’ goal, with striker, Abdallah Juma, becoming the main culprit of the misses.
The towering striker, who has been recruited from another Mainland Premier League side, Coast Region’s Ruvu Shooting Stars, for the forthcoming season, was twice released by winger, Mrisho Ngasa, inside Sofapaka penalty area but he disappointingly wasted the chances.Juma had another glorious chance deep in the second half but he was denied by the crossbar as he rose high to connect a well measured cross from overlapping fullback, Nassor Masoud, from the right.
And Sofapaka made the most of the best chances they had in the match to bang in the three goals, in which veteran striker, John Baraza, had a brace and fellow striker, Joseph Nyaga, drilled in the third midway through the second half.The last minutes onslaught by the hosts did little to change the course of the game as the side’s striking force continued to waste scoring chances, much to the disappointment of the team’s fans.
Simba played two matches against Kenyan sides of Mathare United and Sony Sugar at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, in which the Mainland Premier League champions, edged Mathare 2-1 and managed a 1-1 draw with Sony Sugar.Simba also played another Mainland Premier League side, JKT Oljoro, in the third friendly that saw the former claim a 2-1 win.