Simba SC have predicted it will not be easy for them to retain the Mainland Premier League title in this campaign.
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi started the season with a 2-1 win against promoted side Ihefu FC, but they did not win easily as they were forced to fight until the end to bag maximum points.
Goals from John Bocco and Muzamiru Yassin in the first half, were not enough for the champions as Ihefu proved a tough side in the second period and even scored a goal which was ruled out for offside.
Simba’s team manager Patrick Rweyemamu has now admitted the journey to win a fourth straight league title will be tough owing to what they experienced in the first match and went further to state they should not underrate any team.
“The opening match has given us a picture that the league will be a bit difficult with many challenges expected and there is no big or small team; hence no need to underrate any side,” Rweyemamu is quoted by Daily News.
“But, we believe that this is again our year to be crowned champions. I hope that the squad will thoroughly prepare for the next encounter than we did in our first match.”
Simba captain Bocco also praised Ihefu for putting up a good show admitting they gave his side a tough game.
“It was a good match, we played against a well- organised team which also needs to get vital three points but in the end, we have managed to get what we wanted most.
“I believe that if they will continue to play like they did today [Sunday], Ihefu will be among the most challenging sides in the league this season.”
Ihefu captain Joseph Kinyozi blamed a lack of concentration and experience for the defeat.
“Most people underrated us when we got promoted into the league but with the performance we have shown, I think they will begin to respect the team.
“For those who understand football, they will assess us from the way we played as to whether we know the game or not.”
Simba will next take on Mtibwa Sugar at Uhuru Stadium in Morogoro on Saturday while Ihefu will come up against Ruvu Shooting at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya.