Simba SC have been warned that there will be no underdogs when they take on Namungo FC in the final of the FA Cup on Sunday.
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi will be keen to seal a treble this season, having won the Mainland Premier League title and the Charity Shield Cup - as they come up against a Namungo side who finished fourth on the league table - at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Sumbawanga, Rukwa this weekend.
The club’s Information Officer Haji Manara has cautioned the players against complacency, despite the difference in stature between the two sides, saying a cup final can go either way and therefore that they should be ready for a tough battle.
“In a cup final you don’t have a favourite winner,” Manara told Goal. “Anything can happen in a cup final, you must be alert and always avoid committing silly mistakes that can complicate matters for you.
“We all know we don’t have underdogs in such a final, the two teams in final are all equal, they won matches to reach the final and so it will be a huge mistake to underrate your opponent.
"I am hoping our boys will be keen to avoid mistakes especially at the back and give us the best result we want to end the season in style."
Despite Manara's comments, Simba will be favourites to lift the crown when they meet a team who only scraped past lowly Sahare All-Stars to reach this stage of the competition.
“From the fans, the playing unit, and the technical bench we all need to know anything can happen in the final and get prepared for a good final, go with confidence and avoid being complacent.”
In an earlier interview, Simba coach Sven Vandenbroeck explained the importance of the FA Cup final by revealing he will field his best team on the day.
“It will be our final match of the season and we will, therefore, field our best squad to finish the job,” Vandenbroeck told Goal on Saturday. “I will not underrate [Namungo], they are not a team to look down upon and therefore, I have told my players what to do and what to expect in such a final, it will be difficult because they can also spring a surprise, so we must be ready to deal with them.
“I am happy we have been training for the last few days since we ended the league and all the players are fit to play, I will go for my best squad, to finish the job and give us another trophy.”
Simba defeated Yanga SC 4-1 in the semi-final to advance to the final, while Namungo narrowly defeated minnows Sahare All-Stars by a solitary goal.