'Seven Star' Simba roar into the CAF Champions League quarter finals

Simba's Chama celebrates after scoring on Saturday, March 18 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium during the TotalEnergies Champions League group game against Horoya

What you need to know:

  • Clatous Chama scored a hattrick for the Msimbazi giants with Jean Beleke and Sadio Kanoute scoring a brace each as Simba made it into the last eight for the third time in five years.

 Dar es Salaam. Simba SC on Saturday March 18, thrashed Guinea’s Horoya 7-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on qualify for the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League for the third time in four seasons.

Backed by a capacity crowd in red and white, Simba set the proceedings early trapping the Guinea side in what has now become a lion's den. 

Clatous Chama scored a hattrick for the Msimbazi giants with Jean Beleke and Sadio Kanoute scoring a brace each as Simba made it into the last eight for the third time in five years.

It was a game they had to win, and with that victory they cemented their hold on second spot as they moved to nine points, five ahead of third placed Horoya and four behind group winners raja Club Athletic who picked a point in their 1-1 away draw against Uganda’s Vipers in Kampala.

Chama scores Simba's third goal

The hosts found themselves in an undesirable position with a must win obligation heading into the tie and they were off to a fast start. Just 10 minutes in, they broke the deadlock when Chama whipped in a brilliant freekick from the edge of the box.

Horoya almost drew level minutes later, but Pape Ndiaye’s two shots went narrowly wide. In between Simba had a brilliant chance to make it 2-0 when Chama broke off on the counter, but his pass back to the area was a yard behind Saido Ntibanzokiza who was racing towards goal.

They, however, made it 2-0 after 32 minutes when Beleke reacted quickest after the keeper spilled a Kibu Denis shot. They made it 3-0 after 34 minutes from the spot, Chama putting the spotkick away after a handball inside the box.

Simba's striker Jean Baleke wheels away after scoring the team's second goal on March 18 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar es Salaam

Simba went into the break with a three-goal cushion and one foot into the last eight.

They kept the tempo in the second half and they made it 4-0 nine minutes after the restart when Kanoute placed a brilliant shot into the top right corner after being set up by Chama off a brilliant cutback from Ntibanzokiza.

Beleke completed his brace in the 65th minute when he beat the keeper one on one after pinching the ball off a defender at the edge of the box. Chama then added his third and Simba’s sixth with a sublime finish inside the box from a Sakho cutback.

Kanoute then put the icing on the cake with the seventh four minutes to time with another brilliant shot from outside the area after being teed up by Shomari Kapombe.

Elsewhere in neighboring Uganda, Vipers SC under new coach Alex Isabirye picked up their second point in the group and scored their first goal in a 1-1 draw with Raja Casablanca.

Nigerian Abubakar Lawal scored the leveller at the stroke of halftime, finishing off at the backpost off a cross from Issa Mubiru.

Raja who are unbeaten in the group had opened the scoring after 18 minutes through Soufiane Benjdida who connected easily from three yards out off a Zakaria Labib cross.

This was the first time in the group phase that Raja dropped points having been on a run of four successive victories.

With the top two already decided, the last round of matches will merely count for statistic with Horoya hosting Vipers in Conakry while Simba travel to Raja.