SIMBA SC vowed yesterday that they will do whatever necessary to win their today’s match against Al Ahly at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
It will be the fourth match for the country’s flag bearers in the group stages of the CAF Champions League in the race that has seen them claiming three points and three goals from their previous three encounters to sit third in their group D table.
Al Ahly top the group’s standings with seven points ahead of AS V ita Club with four points. Simba are third with three points and JS Saoura tail the group with two points.
A win for Simba today will rejuvenate their chances to progress into the last-eight of the competition. On the other hand, Al Ahly just need three points for them to cruise into the quarter finals.
However, the Egyptian giants are yet to post an away win since their best away performance of a 1-1 draw in Algiers, Algeria during the second round clash against JS Soaura. They have conceded just one goal.
Addressing members of the media in a pre-match briefing, Simba’s Assistant Captain Mohamed Hussein said they know the importance of the match as such winning for them is number one priority.
“We will be playing at home as such, doing well will help to put us back into the competition which is the main priority,” Hussein said. He added that for the past days, they have been training hard to ensure their ambition to pocket maximum points from their turf becomes reality.
Asked what made him to have the confidence to whitewash the Egyptian giants today, Hussein said most teams in the competition are getting crucial points from their home territories hence they will also do that to their advantage.
On his part, Al Ahly Head Coach Martin Lasarte said they have come here to win and collect three points which he said will enable them to continue flying high at the top of their group.
“We respect our opponents (Simba) but, I hope that we will play to win the match. Our strategy in this competition is to win game by game to go deeper into the tournament,” he said.
Queried as to whether the Dar es Salaam warm weather could have an impact to his side bearing in mind that in Egypt is winter now, Lasarte said they are adapting well to the city’s weather condition. He also revealed that he has seen some video clips of Simba playing insisting that he will use that to his team’s advantage.
Moreover, the coach said he is going to make rotation in today’s game whereby some players who played in the past match will not play to give chance to others. His captain Hesham Mohamed conceded that it will be a tricky match for them but said they are ready to take home maximum points.
Meanwhile, CAF Media Officer of the match Collings Okinyo said Simba Head Coach Patrick Aussems could be fined for his failure to turn up at the pre-match media briefing saying doing that is against the requirements of the continent’s football body.
“In briefings like this, we want to hear from the coaches them- selves and not otherwise,” Okinyo said.