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Simba conclude Sudan tour with loss to hosts Hilal

Simba Hilal scaled
  • Simba lost 1-0 to Al Hilal in their final friendly match
  • They beat Asante Kotoko 4-1 in their first friendly
  • Simba have been in Tanzania for two weeks

Tanzanian giants Simba SC concluded their tour of Sudan with a loss against hosts AL Hilal in their second friendly match in Khartoum.

Wekundu wa Msimbazi had earlier on beaten Asante Kotoko of Ghana 4-1 in the first of their two friendly matches, but their perfect hunt was halted by Hilal, who had also enjoyed a healthy win over the Ghanaians in the four-nation friendly series.

John Manu scored the solitary goal of the match in the 62nd minute of the game. The forward who was signed at the start of last month headed in the winner when he rose gleefully to nod the ball against the upright and into the net off an Imuro Ibrahim cross from the left.

Ibrahim is also a new signing, having joined the Sudanese giants last month as well. New coach Florent Ibenge has now had a perfect start in pre-season friendly matches after joining the Sudanese giants from Moroccan club RS Berkane.

Use games to prepare for Champions League

Action between Simba and Al Hilal

Action between Simba and Al Hilal. PHOTO-Al Hilal

The two sides were using the friendly matches to prepare for the new season of the CAF Champions League which kicks off next weekend.

Simba assistant coach Selemani Matola says the team has gained a lot from the two friendly matches and are looking forward to start their Champions League campaign on a high as well as continue with their good campaign in the NBC Premier League.

“We are playing in the Champions League and facing very tough teams so we needed to have these kinds of games for us to gauge ourselves as a team. I can say we have picked great lessons and heading back home, we want to try and implement whatever we have picked from here,” said Matola.

“I am pleased with the players and the effort they put in. Everyone has been working hard and hopefully we can see the fruits of this labour,” he added.

Simba were without most of their Tanzanian nationals who are currently with the national team playing in the qualifiers for next year’s Africa Nations Championship. They face Uganda this weekend, trailing 1-0 from the first leg played in Dar es Salaam last weekend.

Olunga opens account in Qatar

Michael Olunga scores for Al Duhail

Michael Olunga scores for Al Duhail. PHOTO-Al Duhail

Elsewhere in Qatar, Harambee Stars forward Michael Olunga opened his goal account in the Stars League with the third as Al Duhail beat league leaders Al Arabi 3-0. This was Olunga’s third match of the season having missed the first two with injury.

He slotted home a 75th minute penalty to get his season going. Abdulla Al Sulaiti’s own goal in the ninth minute gave Duhail a perfect start, the defender heading into his own net as he tried to cut out a cross.

Nam Tae Hee then added the second in the 52nd minute with a header into an empty net after Sultan Al Braik’s cross from the left looped over the keeper.

Olunga scored 22 goals in 20 league matches last season to emerge the top scorer and is looking forward to a repeat of the same.

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