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Business stalls as Simba dock

10th April 2012
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A multitude of Dar es Salaam Simba fans cheering their team`s arrival from Algiers yesterday where they eliminated Es Setif from the CAF Confederation Cup race. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

Business came to an abrupt standstill along the Msimbazi Street in Dar es Salaam following the return of samba players and officials from Algiers yesterday.

Save for the Easter holiday’s the Msimbazi Street where the team has its headquarters was jammed by supporters of the team celebrating their arrival.

Vendors were forced to vacate the street in the morning hours until later in the afternoon as celebrations to mark the team’s progression into the CAF Confederation Cup last 16 receded.

Simba knocked out Es Setif by 4-3 goals aggregate to book a last 16 tie against Sudanese club Al Ahly Shandy at the end of the month.

Hundreds of Simba fans and officials turned up at the Julius Nyerere International Airport on the dawn of the day to mark the team’s arrival.

The fans kept chanting slogans in praise of their club while teasing their archrivals Young Africans who have been eliminated from CAF Champions League after the first round matches.

The fans noise dominated the entire Airport to distract attention of other passengers who were flying to other destinations around the world.

The celebrations headed to the club house at the Msimbazi Street where fans put on red and white coloured dresses to mark their club’s colours.

Each player or officials who were disembarked from the bus that transferred them from the airport was patted on the back with strong handshakes as a gesture to appreciate their superb job done in Setif.

It was one of the rare receptions to be staged by fans to their team since their triumphant arrival from Cairo in 2003 where the team dethroned Zamalek to book a Champions League slot for the first and last time since the new format came into use.

Simba’s Serbian coach Milovan Circovic said the team has a tough job ahead as they face a formidable side from Sudan in the last 16 matches.

He said players, officials and fans have to join together in formulating strategies to win the next stage of the tourney so as to cruise into the last eight phase.

The coach underlined the need to sharpen his defenders after observing pot holes during their match against Es Setif where they lost by 3-1 goals.

“I’m happy to have led Simba into the next stage but the joy is has some limitations as we need to find a breakthrough in the next game”, said the Serbian coach.

The coach said his team would soon embark on training ahead of Saturday’s premiership match against Ruvu Shooting at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

Simba are leading the pack of the 14-league team with 50 points realised from 22 appearances.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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