Dar es Salaam. A 75th minute goal by Emmanuel Okwi salvaged a 2-2 draw for Mainland giants Simba against Egypt’s Al Masry in the Confederation Cup clash at the National Stadium on Wednesday.
The draw means Simba now need a win of at least one clear goal in the return leg match in Port Said, about 200-kilometres from the Egyptian capital, Cairo on March 17, to qualify for the second round.
The first round, first leg match was halted for a few minute after heavy rainfall made the pitch unplayable with the game pegged at two-all draw.
Simba, making their first appearance in five years in the African football, made a bright start but had trouble in breaking down Al Masry defence.
Nine minutes into the game, Simba fans were off their feet when team captain John Bocco broke the stalemate through a penalty. The hosts were awarded the spot kick after Al Masry defender Mohammed Kofi handled the ball in the penalty box in desperate efforts to a clear a goal-bound shot.
Celebrations that greeted the goal had hardly died down when Al Masry levelled matters through Ahmed Gomaa off a Mohamed Emam pass. In the 26th minute, James Kotei handled the ball in the penalty box, and South African referee Thando Helpus never hesitated to award Al Masry a penalty. Ahmed Abdalraof made no mistake with it.
In the second half, Simba technical bench brought in Laudit Mavugo and Said Ndemla to replace Bocco and Yusuph Mlipili respectively.
They equalised in the 75th minute through a penalty by Emmanuel Okwi.
Simba:- Aishi Manula, Shomari Kapombe, Asante Kwasi, Yusuf Mlipili, Erasto Nyoni, Jonas Mkude, Emmanuel Okwi, James Kotei, John Bocco, Shiza Kichuya and Nicholas Gyan.
Al Masry:- Ahmed Wahab, Ahmed Abdalraof, Mohamed Mahmoud, Ahmed Gomaa, Islam Salem, Amir Mousa, Islam Atta, Mohemed Emam, Farid Emam, Mohamed Koffi and Mohamed Ahmed.