CAF Champions League last eight stage draw set for Wednesday   

18Mar 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
CAF Champions League last eight stage draw set for Wednesday   

SIMBA SC will know their opponents in the quarterfinals of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League on Wednesday when a draw will be conducted in Cairo, Egypt.

Simba SC forward, Meddy Kagere (R), attempts to get the better of AS Vita Club's player during the 2018/19 CAF Champions League Group D match, which was held in Dar es Salaam last Saturday. Simba won 2-1. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TFF

Tanzania's only representatives in the competition, qualified for the quarterfinals after beating AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 2-1 in the Group D match that took place at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

According to CAF, after the Wednesday draw, the last eight stage matches will be played early next month.

Other teams, which have qualified for the quarterfinals, are Esperance of Tunisia and Guinea's Horoya from Group A while Group B outfits, which have sailed through to the next stage, are Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and South Africa football big guns, Mamelodi Sundowns.

Group C teams that have made it to the quarterfinals are DRC football giants, TP Mazembe, and St. Constantine of Algeria.

Simba took the second position in Group D with nine points while Egypt football big guns, Al Ahly, are the group leaders with 10 points.

Having walked a long and winding road to reach this stage, on Saturday Simba staged one of the best comebacks to defeat AS Vita who were determined to win the game at all cost.

The visitors were first to score through midfielder, Kasengu Kazadi, on the 13th minute but the very determined Simba equalized on the 36th minute through left fullback Mohamed Hussein.

The game went into recess with the teams level at 1-1 but after some resting and pep talk, Simba started the second half on a high note as they were coming into the opponents' half time and again.

Simba's head coach Patrick Aussems who was in most cases seen standing at the technical area, made some substitutions in an effort to revitalize his squad.

The introduction of skilful midfielder Haruna Niyonzima paid off as the Rwandan international came into the game with more creativity and energy.

Niyonzima's presence paid off as he was one of the architects of the winning and most important goal for his side that was netted by Zambian midfielder Cletous Chama on the 90th minute.

The goal sent the fully packed stadium into frenzy and turned it into a dancing arena.

It was a good revenge for Simba, who conceded a humiliating 5-0 loss to the same opponents in the previous game, which took place in Kinshasa.

Simba did not only win the game but also enjoyed possession by 53 percent to AS Vita's 47, the home team also had 439 passes while the visitors had 400. 

In a monitored post-match interview AS Vita Club head coach Florent Ibenge was lost of words, only praising Simba players for winning the game.

Ibenge's counterpart Aussems said he is happy with the results and hailed his charges for playing according to game plan, as well as showcasing never-say-die spirit.