Simba plot JS Saoura downfall in crucial tie

Saturday March 09 2019
Simba pic

Dar es Salaam. Simba skipper John Bocco says Algeria is a hostile battleground, but they are focused on getting a positive result when they face JS Saoura today.

The Msimbazi Reds, who have been in Algeria since Wednesday, were busy yesterday, perfecting their tactics ahead of the Africa Champions League clash.

“It is going to be tough, Algeria is a hostile place to be, but according to our plan, we are going to fight and, hopefully, we can get a positive result,” Bocco said yesterday.

The Group D match kicks off at 9pm (Tanzanian time) at Stade 20 Août 1955 in Bechar.

It will be handled by Congolese referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo, according to the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Going into the fifth round, Simba are second with six points from two matches, a point adrift of leaders and record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt.

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Only three points separate Al Ahly from bottom club V Club of DR Congo in the most intriguing section. Saoura are third with five points.

Al Ahly have lost two of their three away Champions League matches this season – a form that will not inspire confidence before a clash with V Club in an intimidating Kinshasa cauldron.

Only two teams from the four-team group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Simba have a shocking away record in the group, twice suffering 5-0 hidings.

But the Msimbazi Street team’s assistant coach, Dennis Kitambi, is upbeat of getting a desired result in the eagerly awaited clash.

“This is an important game. Our target is to progress to the next round,” Kitanmbi told The Citizen by phone from Algiers yesterday.

“We have to collect maximum points against Saoura. They are a big team with massive experience but we are not scared of them,” he added.

JS Saoura, on the other hand, have so far not lost a game at their home ground.

They drew 2-2 with Al Ahly before squeezing a 1-0 win against AS Vita.

“It will be crucial for us because we know that without a positive result in Algeria, it will be difficult for us to get to the quarter-finals,” Kitambi stressed.