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Cioaba: Azam FC coach confident of catching Simba SC despite huge gap

08:44 BST 06/06/2020
Aristica Cioaba of Azam FC
The Romanian coach reveals they still have a chance to win the league title despite their opponents enjoying a healthy lead

Azam FC coach Aristica Cioaba has remained confident of catching up with run-away Mainland Premier League leaders Simba SC when the league resumes.

The ‘Ice-Cream Makers’ are sitting second on the table, 17 points behind Simba, who have 71 points, while Young Africans (Yanga SC) are lying third, though they still have a game in hand.

Despite the huge number of points separating the two sides, the Romanian coach is not giving up and has revealed they can still catch up with Simba with nine rounds of matches remaining to the end of the season.

“The league is not finished, we have another 10 games to play and that is 30 points if you win all matches,” Cioaba is quoted by Daily News.

“I can see everybody talking about Simba winning the title, yes! They have the advantage but it is not over yet. We have the same number of matches to play and anything can happen in between.”

Cioaba, who rejoined the team three days ago from his native country, where he relocated to after the league took a break in mid-March owing to the coronavirus pandemic, however, admitted the remaining matches will not be easy.

“Our plans remain the same…to win the title but we will also battle to settle for the second position if the first plan fails,” Cioaba continued.

“We also target to win the Azam Sports Federation Cup [ASFC] because earning a ticket for the Caf club’s championship next season is a top priority for us.”

Azam have organized for a friendly on Saturday and Cioba says it will help him to measure the strength of his players after the long layoff.

“I want to see whether my players are still sharp and with the same strength as was the case before the league took a break,” Cioaba told reporters on Friday.

“I would have preferred we play against a top side but even if we play a lower league side it will be very important for the team. The players have shown good character since I came back, they look like they want to fight for a title and I am happy we are sharing the same ideas.”

Azam will face Simba in the quarter-finals of the domestic cup.