Simba SC all out to stun Kaizer Chiefs in CAF CL last eight

15May 2021
Nassir Nchimbi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Simba SC all out to stun Kaizer Chiefs in CAF CL last eight

TANZANIA's Simba SC will be out to make a crucial step forward in their quest for progression to this season's CAF Champions League's last four when they take on South Africa's Kaizer Chiefs in the first leg of the quarterfinals at the latter's backyard today.

Simba SC

Simba, who are currently Tanzania's only representatives in the continental tournament, are hoping to confidently grace FNB Stadium's pitch, seeking to come out victorious.

Didier Gomes, Simba's head coach, stated he respects Kaizer Chiefs, given his outfit is playing away, but they are looking for good results, so, they will fight to ensure they win.

"The match will be tough and I have a lot of respect for our opponents, but we need good results so that we can achieve our goals in this season's Champions League,'' he disclosed.

Kaizer Chiefs' head coach Gavin Hunt pointed out he is worried by Simba's results in the group stage, especially the latter's win over Egypt's Al Ahly, which is the most successful side in Africa.

Simba's coordinator Abbas Ally said that they are ready for the game.

He said Simba is a great team so no game will be easy in the tournament but they are determined to make sure they get good results.

Simba has advanced to the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League after finishing top in Group A with 13 points while the showpiece's historical champions, Al Ahly, settled for the second spot with 11 points.

Meanwhile, it is to Kaizer Chiefs' advantage that they are not considered favourites ahead of today's match against Simba SC, the former's defender Reeve Frosler disclosed.

In a season in which they have been struggling, especially on the domestic front, Kaizer Chiefs, nicknamed 'Amakhosi', punched above their weight to reach the Champions League quarterfinals after participating in the group stage for the first time.

While comparing the Soweto giants to Simba, who have been trying to flex their muscles in Africa in recent seasons, Frosler feels they are facing superior opponents.

“I think we have a good chance [to beat Simba]. Nobody knew much about us in terms of Caf experience so we are regarded as underdogs,” Frosler told Chiefs’ media.

He stated: “Yes, we will stay an underdog and we will just keep on doing our best.''

He said: "You never know as you have seen these Caf games are unpredictable. Anybody can win on any day. So we never know what could happen.''

“When the draw came out I didn’t personally know much about Simba, but after reading about them and watching them, they seem like a team which has been doing well in the Champions League for the past few years.''

“They seem to be a very big team in Tanzania, so I’m looking forward to playing against them," he added. "They pose a new challenge for us but we are up for the challenge I’m up for the challenge.”

Chiefs go into Saturday’s match fresh from a 1-1 Premier Soccer League draw against Swallows FC, which was their fourth straight league match without winning.

However, Frosler feels that the PSL and Champions League are different stages, and the 'Amakhosi' will employ a new approach against Simba.

He disclosed: “We have just come from a game on Wednesday evening so we have a few days to prepare for Simba,” said Frosler.

“We have a different plan, it’s not like we are playing a league game here so we have to plan differently and go about it a bit differently.''

He stated: "If you look, Simba was here early, they arrived earlier in the week so they have time to acclimatize and possibly watched our game on Wednesday.''

“As I said, it is a different game. CAF Champions League and PSL are two different things so we just look to do our best come Saturday. Each player just has to give his best and you never know what can happen.”

After today's match, Kaizer Chiefs will visit Simba for the return leg set for seven days later.

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