Simba host Al Ahly Shandy of Sudan in a Confederation Cup last 16, first leg match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this afternoon.
The home side will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record. Their home ground victories have contributed a lot to their wins in the returns in past continental games.
They last eliminated ES Setif of Algeria with a 3-3 aggregate but the Dar es Salaam boys advanced with the merit of an away goal. The Msimbazi Street side had earlier crashed out Kiyovu FC of Rwanda on a 3-2 aggregate. The Sudanese side romped into the last 16 stage after defeating Ferreviario de Maputo of Mozambique with a 3-0 aggregate.
Simba will miss the services of their dependable defender Juma Nyoso who got a red card in their last game against ES Setif in Algeria although the team’s head coach Milovan Circovic said is confident that he has capable replacements. The Serbian tactician says that he may replace Nyoso with either Obadia Mungusa or Victor Costa to combine with Kevin Yondani to make a strong defence wall. “We have prepared well to win the game,” he stated.
However, Ferreviario custodian Mohamed Mwalami has warned Simba to be keen with the Sudanese club, and urged his former club to use the home ground advantage to score goals as much as is possible in order to be safe when they meet in the return leg in Khartoum.
Mwalami who was the goalkeeper when Shandy eliminated Ferreviario de Maputo, said that the Sudanese side have good defenders and midfielders but have blunt strikers.
He urged Simba to be more alert and should not to allow them to get an away goal as it is always difficult to beat them on their home ground.
On his part, Al Ahly Shandy coach Kouko Mohamed said that they have prepared for the match and admitted that Simba is now among big clubs in the continent. “It is going to be an entertaining and a tough game,” he said. He said that he is proud of his international players who come from Ghana, Nigeria and Mali. The Tunisian coach said that he is also proud of his two players who turn up for the Sudanese national side.