Three magnificent goals in the last 24 minutes completely overwhelmed visiting Al Ahly Shandy at a packed National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday as Simba edge closer to the last eight berth of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The victory has left Simba to have a relatively soft workload as they travel to Shandy in a fortnight for the return leg tie of the last 16.
The goals were reminiscent to the pattern when Simba played their last Confederation Cup match at home to Algeria’s Setif at the same venue early this month.
Both Shandy and Simba players launched several attacks but the later had a lion share in the final ten minutes of the first half.
Patrick Mafisango failed to put Simba ahead eight minutes to the half time mark after Al Shandy goalkeeper Abdulraham Ali saved his weak shot.
The penalty decision was taken by the Swaziland referee after Shandy goalkeeper brought down striker Emmanuel Okwi who was on his way to score after 37 minutes.
The teams progressed into the dressing rooms while tied goalless as home fans remained patient for the second half.
Haruna Moshi combined well with Felix Sunzu to put Simba ahead after 66 minutes taking full advantage of Shandy’s defensive mix up.
Mafisango who missed crucial first half penalty rectified his mistakes when he concluded a superb job by Okwi and tap in the second goal for Simba after 78 minutes.
Okwi had dissected the entire Shandy defence before releasing the lethal pass to the scorer and send wild celebrations to fans on the stands if the packed Stadium.
Okwi hammered the final nail in the Shandy’s coffin as they ended the first leg with excessive frustration. The Sudanese have a tall order despite playing with full home ground advantage during the return leg.
Simba dispatched Rwanda’s Kiyovu Sport by 3-2 goal aggregates during the opening round before sending packing Algeria’s Entente Setif by 4-3 goals aggregates three weeks ago.
Should Simba advance to the last eight it will be their second appearance in continental CAF leagues since 2003 when they stormed into another version of the CAF league’s, the Champions.
Former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye was the guest of honour who also blessed Simba victories during their CAF Cup campaign in 1993.
Juma Kaseja, Nassor Masoud, Amir Maftah, Shomari Kapombe, Kelvin Yondani, Patrick Mafisango, Uhuru Suleiman/Salum Machaku, Mwinyi Kazimoto, Emmanue Okwi, Haruna Moshi and Felix Sunzu.
Al Ahly Shandy:
Abdulraham Ali, Nassor Yakoub, Sadam Aboutarik, Nadir El Tawoom, Zacharia Nassor, Mahmood Bashir/Farouk Mugahed, Razak Yakoob, Isaac Malik, Fareed Mohamed, Basir Obamba and Fares Abdallah.