SIMBA said that winning an away match is not an easy task, but they will strive to make sure that they claim three important points against hosts, Kaizer Chiefs in the first leg of CAF Champions League quarter final match.
The Mainland Champions jetted in South Africa on Tuesday and trained at a venue that will host the match on Saturday.
The game is set for a 18:00 kick-off at FNB Stadium, while the return leg will be played at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salam a week later.
“We have safely landed here in South Africa and ready for our away match against Kaizer Chiefs …everything is well set and we have no an injured player so far, according to reports from our medical team,” said the club’s Information Officer Haji Manara.
He said Simba were accorded with heroic welcome by Tanzanians and supporters based in South Africa. What is so important, according to him was for Tanzanians to pray for the club to grab three away points.
This will be the first meeting between Simba and Kaizer Chiefs, alias ‘Amakhosi’ as they have never faced off in the CAF Champions League.
This will be Simba’s second meeting against South African opponents in the CAF Champions League.
Their only previous game was a penalty shoot-out win over Santos in the 2003 First Round, both legs ended 0-0.
Simba’s Manager Patrick Rweyemamu noted that all players are motivated and have begun preparations for the weekend clash and are ready to battle for an away victory.
He also noted that the weather in South Africa is very cold and the early arrival ahead of the match will help players to acclimatise.
“Despite the cold weather as opposed to home, the technical bench believes the three days of practice in Johannesburg before the match will be enough to get the players to adapt to the atmosphere,” Rweyemamu said.
Simba arrived in South Africa minus two key players – central defender Pascal Wawa and attacking midfielder Bernard Morrison together with team’s trainer Adel Zrane.
Wawa and Zrane were reportedly left in Nairobi, Kenya after they had problems with their travelling documents, while Morrison was left in Dar es Salaam for similar reasons.
Wawa and Zrane could not board the plane from Nairobi owing to issues with their visas but they are now expected to link up with the team when their paperwork is sorted.
Simba will hope to maintain the solidity they showed in the group stage, where they only conceded two goals and kept four clean sheets.
Mozambique winger Luis Miquissone - who scored a clinical goal against Al Ahly in matchday three to earn Simba a surprise 1-0 win - is expected to be the club’s creative brain during the knockout stage.
Simba are appearing in their third CAF Champions League Quarterfinal having been in the last eight in 1994 and 2018-19. The winner of this tie will be heading to their first CAF Champions League Semifinals.
Simba have had a stunning performance in their Group Stage campaign, beating top flight sides in the likes of African reigning champions, Al-Alhy of Egypt and AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to lead group A on 13 points. Kaizer Chiefs are appearing in their first quarterfinals in the CAF Champions League.
Their only other quarterfinal participation in African club competition came in the 2001 African Cup Winners Cup against Ismailia of Egypt – a game they won on away goals after the match ended 1-1 on aggregate.
Chiefs vital away goal in the tie against Ismailia in 2001 in the 1-1 second leg away draw was scored by Chiefs current assistant coach Arthur Zwane.
Last time for Kaizer Chiefs to face a Tanzanian team was during their clash against Zanzibar’s Zinamoto in the 2018-19 CAF Confederations Cup.
Chiefs won the preliminary round clash 5-2 to progress to the next round. Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt gave an update yesterday that two of his key players will be missed due to injuries which might place them to finish the season without forward Khama Billiat and goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
Hunt gave out this latest update before the game against Swallows FC, in which he noted that he has little hope of his speedy recovery from their respective injuries.