Simba face Al Ahly in tricky Champions League match

Tuesday February 23 2021
simba pic

Simba players during a recent training session in Dar es Salaam. The Msimbazi Street soccer giants today face Al Ahly of Egypt in the African Champions League encounter at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in the coastal metropolis starting at 4pm local time. PHOTO | FILE


Dar es Salaam. Football giants Simba SC (‘Simba’)today have the challenging task against Al Ahly of Egypt in the ongoing African Champions League Groups stage encounter at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar.

The match is scheduled to start at 4pm local time - and is expected to be a tough one, interspersed with thrilling moments as each of the teams seek clear victory in order to improve their chances in the League’s rankings. Both teams have collected an equal number of points, but Al Ahly are placed at the top due to goal differences.

Al Ahly won 3-0 against El Merreick of Sudan in their first match, while Simba recorded 1-0 against AS Vita Club in an away duel in Kinshasa, DR Congo. However, records show that the two teams met twice, and Al Ahly won 5-0 at the Cairo Stadium in Egypt before losing 1-0 to Simba at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. The two matches were played during the 2019 edition.

Basically, the two teams have different squads compared with 2019 - a situation that makes today’s encounter difficult to predict. Simba’s assistant coach, Selemani Matola, could only predict a tough encounter - but then insisted that his club would win the match “with a bang!”

Matola said they have prepared their players to win, and have instilled in them the spirit of playing with determination and keenness all the time.

“We have prepared well ahead of the encounter. We respect our opponents due to the fact that they are the defending champions. We are on home ground, and we have to make our fans and Tanzanians happy. We did it in 2019 and we can ‘GET IT DONE’ again this time to do it again,” said Matola, echoing the Mwananchi Communications Limited’s clarion call!


Simba’s captain John Bocco said they aware that the match will be tough; but a victory for Simba is the overriding objective. “My fellow players are in top morale, ready for the encounter. They know what Simba members and fans need from them. We promise not to let down them,” said Bocco.

Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane said they are here to prove their worth in the competition despite the fact that the match will be played on foreign soil.

Mosimane said Simba are a strong team - not to be underrated. “We are playing against strong team that managed to win away against AS Vita. We face strong opposition, but our task is to maintain our status,” said Mosimane - adding that they have closely monitored their players and put technical strategies in place to aid them. Al Ahly captain Ayman Ashraf echoed Mosimane’s sentiments insisting they are here to win the match, period! record.

“We know Simba players and would not make us worrying. We have prepared for the tough encounter and we are sure to win it although it will be tough match,” said Ashraf.