Coach: Simba SC still within reach of 2020/21 CAF CL semi-finals

17May 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Coach: Simba SC still within reach of 2020/21 CAF CL semi-finals

TANZANIA's Simba SC head coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa has refused to concede his outfit is out of this season's CAF Champions League after losing 4-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in a last-eight match, which took place in South Africa on Saturday.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper, Bruce Bvuma (R), seeks to make a save to foil Simba forward, Chris Mugalu, when the clubs locked horns in a CAF Champions League's last eight match, which took place in South Africa last weekend. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SIMBA SC

The Msimbazi Street giants went into the match at FNB Stadium with a good record from the group stage but Kaizer Chiefs, nicknamed 'Amakhosi', used their home advantage well to win the first leg contest and put one leg in the semi-finals of the competition.

However, Simba found the going tough as goals from Samir Nurkovic (a brace), Erick Mathoho, and Leonardo Castro inspired 'Amakhosi' to a well-deserved win.

The results have helped the Soweto giants maintain their unbeaten home record in this season's Champions League.

The French tactician has maintained a brave face despite the huge defeat, insisting they still have a chance to make things right in the return leg set for Tanzania because 'in football, anything can happen.'

He noted: “Anything can happen because this is football''.

He stated: “We are not happy with the outcome but we still have hope.''

Simba SC midfielder Bernard Morrison, who missed the clash against Chiefs, is confident they have what it takes to overturn the results in Dar es Salaam.

He noted: “When a hero stumbles, the cowards rejoice. Nothing feels better to a coward than to see a good guy fall.''

Morrison had put the comments on his Twitter handle about his side's humiliating defeat.

He disclosed: “When they say you can’t do it, tell them to sit back and watch how you do it.”

Despite Simba going into the match having won five successive matches in their domestic league, Chiefs got off to the perfect start as they broke the deadlock through Mathoho, who marked his return to the starting line-up with a goal just six minutes into the match.

Nurkovic flicked a well-taken corner-kick from Bernard Parker and Mathoho headed past Simba goalkeeper Aishi Manula to hand Chiefs a 1-0 lead and it was his third goal in this season’s Champions League.

Chief then doubled their lead four minutes after the half-hour mark as Reeve Frosler's delightful cross was headed home by Nurkovic, who netted his first goal in the Champions League, to hand Chiefs a 2-0 lead heading into the half-time break.

Nurkovic pounced and scored with a brilliant volley to make it 3-0 to Chiefs after Simba defender Mohammed Hussein had mistakenly headed the ball into his path three minutes before the hour-mark.

It was soon 4-0 to Chiefs in the 63rd minute when Castro hit the back of the net with a diving header.

The two teams are scheduled to meet again in the second-leg encounter at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on May 22.

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