Roy Lumbe in Dar es Salaam @PeopleSport11
Acquaintances will be renewed when AFC Leopards begin their SportPesa Cup assault against Tanzanian giants Simba on Wednesday.
Revenge will be on Simba’s minds after Leopards kicked them out of the inaugural tournament in 2017. However, it is the presence of Marcel Kaheza in the Ingwe camp that is giving the 12-time Kenyan champions reason to be optimistic as they take on Wekundu wa Msimbazi (Red army) at the National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam.
Kaheza is on loan from Simba and itching to show his parent club what they are missing “It’s great to be here and especially for such a momentous tournament. I am proud to be here as a Leopards player because I came here to challenge myself and look for a new place to show my impact as a player,” the forward told SportPesa News yesterday.
He added: “Simba is also a great club and that only motivates us to do better and come out victorious. Our target is to make it to the final and win the trophy. I will do my best to help the team when called upon .”
Leopards were the first visiting team to arrive in the Tanzanian capital on Saturday but will have to do without dependable midfielder Victor Majid who did not travel after sustaining a knee injury while on league duty.
However, captain Robinson Kamura is confident that they will cage Simba and go on to win the title which has eluded them in the last two editions.
Super Cup taste
“Last time it was painful to be knocked out on penalties but that’s how football is. We learnt from our mistakes and we are ready to do better if it gets to that. We are confident and with the talent in the squad and as long as we play as a unit, it won’t have to get to penalties,” said Kamura.
It will also be the first taste of SportPesa Cup for youthful Leopards tactician Marko Vesiljevik and while they have had a slow start to the league season, the Serbian belives they are picking up.
“We’re coming off an important league win and we still have a couple of days to train in Tanzania. I’m confident we will put on a great show,” said Vesiljevik, whose side recorded just their second victory in the SportPesa Premier League when they beat Chemelil Sugar on Thursday to move to eighth on the 18-team log with 10 points.