DAR ES SALAAM : Simba’s Coach Roberto Oliveira said their objective is to qualify for the group stage of the CAF Champions League as they host Power Dynamos at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam today.
It is the return leg match of the second preliminary round of the competition with the overall winner progressing to the last 16 hence a make-or-break encounter for either side.
The first leg duel staged at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia ended in a 2-2 draw with Simba coming from behind twice to level the score, thanks to Clatous Chama’s brace.
At a pre-match media briefing yesterday in Dar es Salaam, Oliveira said: “This match is crucial for both our team and the players. To me, football is not about stress or fighting, but rather an art form that evokes emotions from the fans who fill the stadium to provide support for our victory,” he noted.
Queried if the absence of Henock Inonga will affect his game plan, he replied “For me, Inonga is the best centre-back in Africa but we have already found a solution to this problem.
“Do not forget that even our opponents will miss three of their important players. We believe in our capacity,” said the Brazilian coach who is eager to navigate Simba to the group stage of the biggest club showdown on the continent.
He added that they have a good group of players and it is an opportunity for them to play at home with the presence of their fans saying they (fans) make them play with 12 players on the pitch.
His counterpart of Power Dynamos Mwenya Chipepo described the game as similar to a final saying whoever wins will step into the last 16 of the contest.
“After a long time, we have come here well prepared to defeat Simba, each player in my squad is ready and morale is higher than ever before.
“We have played against Simba twice, one in the friendly and the other in CAF CL in Zambia as such, we now know them well and the guys are ready to battle versus Simba,” Chipepo said.
He emphasised that there is no advantage to having a giant team, as both sides are equal and victory depends on the number of goals or who advances to the next stage.