Dar es Salaam. The Caf Champions League Group D is now wide open after Tuesday’s matches, which saw rejuvenated Simba maintain their 100 per cent home record.
Simba stunned record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt 1-0 and Algeria’s JS Saoura pipped AS Vita Club of DR Congo by the same score.
The Msimbazi Reds are now second with six points, one adrift of group leaders Al Ahly, Saoura five and V Club four with each club having two matches remaining, one at home and one away.
They (Simba) need a win away to JS Saoura and avoid defeat at home against Vita to progress to the quarter-finals.
Ace striker Meddie Kagere scored the match-winner for Simba in the 65th minute at the National Stadium while Saoura left it late to secure maximum points, Ziri Hammar netting 12 minutes from time in Bechar.
In this sensational victory that saw Simba leap to second spot in their group, Kagere beat Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy with a sizzling shot to hand the Egyptians their first Group D defeat.
Simba went into the match carrying the ‘punching bag’ status after back-to-back 5-0 defeats to AS Vita and Al Ahly respectively in their last two games.
While it appeared Al Ahly were in for an easy ride, the Msimbazi Street giants proved their invincibility at home, having beaten Saoura 3-0 at home in their group opener.
Kagere’s usual striking partnership with John Bocco was seriously at work with the latter setting up the Rwandan to score.
Bocco also invited some superb saves from Al Ahly goalkeeper El Shenawy especially in the first half but was denied on all occasions.
Elsewhere, Nigeria’s Lobi Stars took an unexpected away point off Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in a Group A 0-0 draw to keep alive hopes of a quarter-finals place.
Wydad beat Lobi in west Africa this month and were favoured to win again with home advantage in matchday four.
Wydad dominated possession and territory. But they made little impression on a highly disciplined Lobi defence. They had a chance to snatch all three points deep in stoppage time only for a poor free-kick to strike the wall.