A feast of African football starts today when Tanzanian envoys in the CAF Champions League; Simba and Young Africans are engaged in the second preliminary round’s first leg matches against Power Dynamos and Al Merrikh today.
Simba face hosts Power Dynamos at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia whereas Yanga lock horns with Al Merrekh of Sudan at Kigali Pele Stadium in Rwanda and both teams are keen to stamp good results away.
Already, the country’s flag bearers have vowed to play lungs out in order to have an upper hand of cruising to the last 16 when they host reverse leg clashes in the city.
If both of them manage to sail into the group stage of the Champions League, It will be a big step in the development of football in the country and this is what Tanzanians would like to see.
For Simba, this is the second time this year to face Power Dynamos after beating them 2-0 when they invited them for an international friendly match to light up the Simba Day.
Simba won through goals from Willy Onana and Fabrice Ngoma.
In his recent interview, Simba coach Roberto Oliveira called on his players to respect their opponents and at the same time, to have a winning mentality.
“We are aware that it is going to be a tough match as such, all precautions should be considered especially with the fact that we are playing away from home,” he said.
He also called on their fans across the country to rally with the team and give players the necessary support that will make them work hard on the pitch.
For Yanga, their coach Miguel Gamondi also urged his charges to play with caution and determination saying the Sudan-based club should not be underrated.
“Of course, we need to play in all 90 minutes because we are at an away venue and the good thing is that we have experienced players who know what to do during these games,” Gamondi said.
The Argentine trainer is searching for a record of helping Yanga to enter in the group stage of the Champions League after a long wait and to achieve a status that his predecessor Nasreddine Nabi failed last season.
He also conceded that they had ample time to analyse different matches played by Al Merrikh and are aware of what to do in order to stamp convincing results.