Seven-Star Simba roar to quarters

SIMBA breezed to the quarter final stage of the CAF Champions League after pulverising Horoya of Guinea 7-0 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

Simba have qualified after posting  unassailable 9 points which their closest challengers; Horoya and Vipers of Uganda can’t attain even if they win their last group stage games.

Raja Casablanca who drew 1-1 with Vipers late yesterday, had already qualified prior to their yesterday’s game with 13 points.

Horoya with 4 points and Vipers with 2 points, have been eliminated since if they win their final games they will reach 7 and 5 points respectively.

Seven-goal blitz is likely to be the highest number of goals one team concede in this crucial stage of Africa’s biggest club level tournament.

Star of the match for Simba was inspirational Clatous Chama who sealed a hat-trick on the night while Jean Baleke and Sadio Kanoute claimed a brace each to enable their side storm in the last-8 stage heads up.

With the outcome, Simba have pocketed 35m/- cash prize offered by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who pays 5m/- per every goal scored by the two envoys in CAF Interclub Games.

As it stands,  Raja Casablanca lead the group C table with 13 points while Simba are placed second with 9 points, Horoya have remained third courtesy of 4 points while Vipers are at the base with 2 points.

Goal gates were opened by Simba in the 10th minute courtesy of Chama who netted through a spectacular set-piece just outside the penalty box beating Horoya keeper Mohamed Kamara.

In the 32nd minute, Jean Baleke doubled the lead  with a close-range strike before Chama sealed a brace via a spot-kick awarded to the home side.

With three goals down, the mountain was hard to climb for the visitors who barely troubled Simba keeper Aishi Manula in the first half.

In the second half, the Msimbazi Street Reds did not ceasefire as Kanoute powered home the fourth goal in the 54th minute, Baleke was on spotlight again in the 64th minute before two more contributions from Chama and Kanoute, sealing the seven-goal deal.

Simba had an electric start of the match making full use of all the available scoring opportunities no wonder they managed to net three goals in the first half.

For Chama, he simply replicated what he normally does when it comes to decisive matches, and on the night, the Zambian creative midfielder was superior.

He showed the value of having a big player who do big things in big matches no wonder, he is among the high-rated players in the Premier League.

Up next, Simba travel to face Raja Casablanca in Morocco on March 31 in their last fixture of group C Champions League campaign.

Their first meeting at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam ended in a 3-0 loss for the hosts.

As such, the Msimbazi Street Reds have to avenge the painful home defeat by stamping success in Morocco and bring back home the most demanded victory.

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