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History favours Simba in home tie

25th March 2012
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Simba coach Milovan Circovic

Tanzania’s representatives in the Confederation Cup tournament, Simba SC of Dar es Salaam face Entente Sportive de Setif of Algeria in the first leg match at the National Stadium today.

Simba are going into the game with a record of defeating North African clubs at home but with mediocre performances in away games.

ES Setif coach Alain Geiger has already admitted that they respect the home side and opted to predict a tough game.

The coach said he respected Simba because the club had once eliminated Zamalek of Egypt in the Champions League in 2003, noting that they will go into the game with a lot of caution.

Apart from Zamalek, Simba have in the past gunned down North African teams at home such as Mehalla el Kubra, National Al Ahly, Arab Contractors, Ismailia and Al Hadood all of Egypt.

Simba also eliminated Al Harrach of Algeria in 1993 and qualified for the Confederation Cup final in which they were hammered 2-0 by Stellar Abidjan of Ivory Coast at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam. They had forced a goalless draw in their away encounter.

Simba won 3-0 at home against Al Harrach before going down 0-2 in the return leg.

The history of winning at home ground boosts Simba chances and gives them high odds on in their favour for today’s game.

However, the Dar es Salaam side needs to do extra job to maintain their status as of late their players have not been keen enough or accurate. They are poor in finishing and lose stamina way into the second half. The team’s defence have been making occasional slip ups in the danger zone.

Simba coach Milovan Circovic said he had changed the team’s playing patterns ahead of today’s clash.

Simba will depend on regulars like Emmanuel Okwi, Felix Sunzu and Patrick Mafisango. Setif coach Geiger remarked that this strike line up and goalie Juma Kaseja are to be especially watched by his players.

Simba have other assets in Haruna Moshi 'Boban', Kelvin Yondani, Juma Nyosso, Victor Costa, Amir Maftah, Said Nassor, Shomari Kapombe, Jonas Mkude and Mwinyi Kazimoto, who are likely to be on the starting line up.

The return leg will be played in two weeks.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
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