Bocco shines as Simba halt Asec Mimosas’ unbeaten run

Simba players celebrate after scoring against Asec Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire during their CAF Confederation Cup group D match at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium yesterday. Simba won 3-1. PHOTO | LOVENESS BERNARD

What you need to know:

  • The victory means Simba top group D with three points as they start planning their next two away matches in Niger and Morocco

Dar es Salaam. Captain John Bocco starred yesterday after creating two opportunities that helped Simba SC crush Asec Mimosas 3-1 in their group D CAF Confederation Cup match at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium yesterday

The heavy defeat was bitter blow for the Ivorian giants for it ended their long unbeaten run the Africa’s second tier championship.

Bocco, who replaced Meddie Kagere in the 75th minute was fouled by Asec Mimosas goalkeeper Abdoul Cisse in the 79th minute and resulting penalty was slotted in by defender Shomari Kapombe.

The ageless striker also provided an assist for the third goal, which was scored by Peter Banda in the 81st minute.

Simba’s first goal was scored by Pape Ousmane Sakho in the 12th minute following a good pass from Kapombe while Asec Mimosas goal was scored by Aziz Stephane after a defensive error by Simba defender Hannock Inonga Baka who failed to mark the scorer.

Since the start of the competition, Asec Mimosa managed to eliminate Interclub of Angola after winning 3-2 away and later winning 2-0 in Cote I’voire.

The team also won all seven matches in the Ivorian premiership.

The victory means that Simba lead Group D standing with three points despite the fact that USGN of Niger and RS Berkane of Morocco were scheduled to play late last night. Simba’s head coach Pablo Franco commended the players for a sterling performance.

Pablo said Asec Mimosas were strong opponents, but his players fought hard to secure victory.

“It was not an easy match because we played against a good team, which also had a plan win. Players fought hard and deserve compliment,” said Pablo.

He explained that their focus is on the next match against USGN, which will be played next Sunday in Niger and later on February 27 against RS Berkane in Casablanca.

Meanwhile; Ahmed Kendouci’s goal two minutes into the second half was all ES Setif needed to beat Guinean side Horoya AC 1-0 in Conakry on Saturday to begin their TotalEnergies CAF Champions League Group B campaign on a high.

The victory away from home takes the 2014 champions on top of the group. The home side was generally dominant in the opening half and commanded 65pc of the possession, forcing Setif to play on the backfoot and defend deeper.

Goalkeeper Zakaria Bouhalfaya had to be on toes to keep his side in the game and twice came to the rescue plucking away efforts from Ocansey Mandela.

In the second half, Setif sought to start faster off the blocks and just needed two minutes to get into the lead with Kendouci finishing cleanly.

The goal was much of what Setif needed as they played with more comfort, turning the pressure pad on the home side. Horoya’s bid to turn the game back into their favour suffered a huge hit in the 68th minute when Yakhouba Barry was sent off for a second bookable offense. With the numerical advantage, Setif managed the game more easily and they managed to see off the result for a massive three points that push them into confidence with their minimum target being to qualify for the quarter finals.