Simba SC coach Didier Gomez Da Rosa has come out to explain why he decided to rotate his squad during their fourth-round domestic cup clash against African Lyon on Friday.
The Msimbazi giants came into the match after their 1-0 win against Al Ahly of Egypt in the Caf Champions League and coach Da Rosa had promised to rotate his squad despite the club’s ambitions to win all the trophies on offer this campaign.
Simba roared to a 3-0 win against Lyon to reach the fifth round of the competition with the goals coming from Ibrahim Ajibu, who scored a brace, and Perfect Chikwende.
Kennedy Juma, Gadiel Michael, Erasto Nyoni, Ibrahim Ame, Jonas Mkude, and Ajibu were the players who the coach opted to start in place of regulars Shomari Kapombe, Mohammed Hussein, Joash Onyango, Pascal Wawa, Taddeo Lwanga, and Yassin Mzamiru.
Da Rosa has since explained it was important to rotate his squad since he has another match coming up in the league on Monday.
“It was very important for some players to rest today [Friday] because we have another important match on Monday [tomorrow]. I am satisfied with this win and the general performance of the team,” Da Rosa said as quoted by Daily News.
“Of course, at Simba, we have a big squad not only the first eleven, but we also have 30 important players in the squad hence on Monday others will get a chance to play.”
On why he handed captain John Bocco a few minutes in the game despite recently recovering from injury, Da Rosa said: “Bocco is a very good player and for sure, we need him for all our games.”
African Lyon coach Raheem Kangezi congratulated his players for the good fight even though they had been eliminated from the competition.
“As you saw, we played well against Simba only they were able to utilise well mistakes we made thereby we got punished in the end,” Kangezi told the same publication.
“What we are doing is simply to implement government’s efforts to uplift sports development, that is why we have been able to produce many players in the league.”
Simba face JKT Tanzania in their next league match on Monday.