DAR ES SALAAM: HISTORY was rewritten at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam on Sunday when Simba joined their traditional rivals Young Africans at a group stage of the Champions League after eliminating Power Dynamos of Zambia.
It is the first time to field two teams at the top 16 stage of the Champions League, a feat that heightens the status of the country’s top-flight league. Simba have advanced on superior away goal advantage despite the 3-3 aggregate draw.
Other teams that have advanced to the group stage are Jwaneng Galaxy FC, Pyramids FC, Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca, TP Mazembe, Esperance and Mamelodi Sundowns. It was a tense game that put Simba fans on suspense in all its 90 minutes and that came after Power Dynamos netting their opener in the 17th minute through Andy Boyeli who released a powerful strike past Simba’s goalkeeper, Ayoub Lakred.
The Zambians scored their opener capitalising on Simba defenders’ poor marking that gave Power Dynamos’ attacking midfielder Boyeli a chance to shoot past a forest of Simba defenders.
During the game, Simba displayed impressive physical and technical skills and they maintained a calm demeanour while in possession of the ball, but quickly applied high pressure when they didn’t have it. In contrast, Power Dynamos utilised a counter-attacking style. In response, Simba made three attempts in a span of twelve minutes through Jean Baleke who made two attempts and Saido Ntibazonkiza.
Baleke made a first attempt in the 33rd minute completing Kibu Denis’s pass but Power Dynamos goalkeeper Willard Mwanza stood firm to save.
In the 35th minute, Baleke made another attempt when he completed Clatous Chama’s set through, but Power Dynamos goalkeeper, Willard Mwanza made a timely save.
As the first half edged to conclude Ntibazonkiza fired a powerful that flew a few inches above the goal. The first half completed with Power Dynamos leading 1-0. At the start of the second half, Simba’s Coach Roberto Oliveira substituted Baleke with John Bocco and Mzamiru Yassin with Willy Onana.
The changes bore fruits as Simba’s front line increasing pressure in the period which Bocco and Onana showed their impact by attempting shots in the 54th and 59th minutes, but none of them found a target.
Simba made another attempt in the 65th minute through Ntibazonkiza who finely completed Kibu Denis’s set through, but his shot went wide. After a deflection from John Bocco’s set piece by Power Dynamos defender Kondwani Chiboni, Simba’s effort paid off in the 68th minute.
In the 71st minute, Power Dynamos attempted to spoil Simba’s celebration through Linos Makwaza with a powerful strike but it went high.