Dar es Salaam. Mainland giants Simba and Mtibwa Sugar have been challenged to prove they have what it takes to shine in crucial duels as they face tricky Caf fixtures today.
Simba are in Kitwe, Zambia for the first round, first leg of Caf Champions League against Nkana FC, while Mtibwa face Uganda’s KCCA in the Confederation Cup in Kampala.
Simba are seeking to qualify for the group stage of the money-spinning tournament, while Mtibwa eye a place in the final round of the Confederation Cup.
The match between Simba and Nkana kicks off at 5pm (Tanzanian time).
It will be handled by Nigerian referee Salisu Basheer.
Simba head coach Patrick Aussems predicted a tough match yesterday, but remained optimistic that it would produce positive results for his team.
“I know the importance of the match against Nkana as they are a good team. They should not be underrated, but we are ready for the challenge,” said Aussems.
Aussems said Zambian midfielder Cleotus Chama was among key players he banks on for goals as he has vast experience of the Zambia football.
He said he will be relying on the player’s advice on how to overcome the Zambia team.
“I don’t only have Chama but for sure he can give me good advice because he knows the team and the players,” the Msimbazi Reds coach said.
“We already talked about that, so each one has the job of playing and I will coaching,” he added.
Chama scored a goal in Simba’s 4-1 home win against eSwatini’s Mbabane Swallows in the first leg before netting a brace in the return leg in Mbabane.
Nkana head coach Beston Chambeshi believes their game against Simba will be an equal meet because both sides are strong and can produce the results needed.
“So it’s a 50/50 game. They have a Zambian player in their team and we also have a Tanzanian player in our team. All we need to do is prepare for them well,” Beston said.
Nkana defeated Mozambican champions UD Songo both home and away to advance to the first round to meet Simba. It was a 2-1 victory in Kitwe and a 1-0 win in Maputo.
For his part, Mtibwa Sugar head coach, Zuberi Katwila, said yesterday that the Morogoro team will be all out for a win against KCCA today.
The two teams, which have rarely clashed, face off at the Phillip Omondi Stadium with the kick off slated for 4pm.