Simba SC eases through to 2021/22 CAF CC Group Stage 

07Dec 2021
Lloyd Elipokea
Lusaka
The Guardian
Simba SC eases through to 2021/22 CAF CC Group Stage 

​​​​​​​LAST Sunday, Simba SC put us all on cloud nine after they successfully negotiated their way through to this season's CAF Confederation Cup (CAF CC) Group Stage.

Tanzania's Simba SC striker, Meddie Kagere (L), negotiates his way past Zambia's Red Arrows FC defender, Nickson Mubili, when the sides locked horns in 2021/22 CAF Confederation Cup Additional Second Preliminary Round's second leg match, which took in Lusaka last weekend. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SIMBA SC

Indeed, in a crunch playoffs' send leg against Zambian outfit Red Arrows FC, Simba SC lost the match 2-1 but still sailed through 4-2 on aggregate after having pummeled Red Arrows FC 3-0 in the first leg a little over a week ago.

Having thus earned passage through to the CAF CC group stage, matters now get infinitely trickier for the Msimbazi Street giants.

Granted, although the CAF CC is admittedly the continent’s second-tier club football championship, this certainly does not mean that Simba SC is likely to win all of their matches at a canter.

The Msimbazi Street side will almost surely have to scale the obstacles posed by powerhouses of African football from North and West Africa if they are indeed dead serious about leaving their mark on the competition.

It is a truism that the path ahead for Simba SC is strewn with many hurdles and obstacles.

Despite that, though, one feels that Simba SC’s CAF Champions League experience will stand them in good stead as they embark on a quest to gain football glory in the CAF CC.

Staying with football, the Qatar World Cup qualifiers, globally, have now entered the home stretch and one can palpably feel that tell-tale sense of excitement that only the game’s most prestigious showcase event can whip up.

From an African standpoint, continental football devotees will be yearning for better tidings next year as the continent’s overall showing at the last world cup in Russia in 2018 was an unmitigated disaster.

Indeed, for the very first time since the 1982 World Cup in Spain, no African team made it through to the knockout stage of the Russia 2018 World Cup, which marked a nadir for African football.

Come to think of it, for a region that has consistently produced some of the game’s most gifted exponents during the last couple of decades, Africa’s overall historical record at the World Cup deserves to come under fire.

It should be recalled here that no African team has progressed to the semifinals of the World Cup finals since the inaugural competition was staged in 1930 to date.

It should also be noted that African teams have only made it to the world cup quarterfinals on three occasions and these were Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

Indeed, considering the annual exodus of talented players from the continent on their way to Europe and elsewhere, we as unbridled African football supporters certainly deserve better than a measly three quarterfinal appearances in World Cup history.

The million-dollar question hovering unanswered in the air then is how will our representatives perform at next year’s Qatar World Cup finals?

The answer to this question can only be revealed at next year’s world cup as the African world cup qualifiers have still not yet been sewn up despite being in the home stretch.

One can only hope though that an African team produces electrifying performances at next year’s world cup and that these hopefully sterling displays will see the team in question through to the semi-finals, or even the grand finale itself!

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