SIMBA remain hopeful that they can snatch an essential win as they face the continent’s giants Al Ahly of Egypt in the CAF Champions League clash at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
The two champions meet in their second group A match with both stamping victories in their opening fixtures thereby grabbing crucial three points and are only separated by goal difference.
The Tanzanian envoys, Simba flogged AS Vita 1-0 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo while the visitors smashed Al-Merreikh of Sudan 3-0 in Cairo Egypt to give them a commanding slot of the group.
However, speaking on Monday ahead of the match, Simba Assistant Coach Selemani Matola said they are aware that the game will be tough but was quick to say his side is ready for the encounter.
“It is not an easy match. It is very difficult even though we previously had good results against them. We are in the Champions League meaning that there is no easy team in the contest.
“Even though we are facing a team better than us, we must make sure that we get positive results from our home game and what gives us hope to do better is that all players who were signed for the champions league are fully prepared for the battle.
“This will give us (technical bench) a wide selection of who to start the match basing on the performance shown during training sessions,” noted Matola.
His skipper John Bocco also added that morale among the players is high such that they are all looking forward for the match.
“We respect our opponents; they are a good side with vast experience in the champions league and are a big club on the continent. We respect them for that but I believe that the tactics we have received from our coaches will work out well to our best interest,” Bocco said.
He then drummed up for more supporters to come with confidence knowing that they are going to fight for them throughout the hot duel.
On his part, Al Ahly Head Coach Pitso Mosimane said losing 1-0 to Simba in their past meeting gives them a reason to be cautious and careful about the game.
“We should not take the game for granted and we must thoroughly prepare ourselves. We need to carefully look at the log and make sure that we do not wait for the last match in order to qualify into the second round.
“Last season, we had to wait until last matches to qualify and we are now prepared to turn the tables. I do not expect to make too much tactical changes in response to the weather. If the changes happen, it will be because of the nature of the game.
“We believe we can win here and they also believe that they can win too…it’s a game of football so we believe we can win,” he said.
He added that they respect Simba but not fear them.