Simba urged to make the most of home venue   

22Mar 2019
Joseph Mchekadona
The Guardian
Simba urged to make the most of home venue   

TANZANIA‘s soccer giants, Simba SC, has been advised to fully utilize the home ground advantage when the club faces Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) giants, TP Mazembe, in the quarterfinals of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League slated for next month.

Simba players celebrate a goal the outfit recorded in the 2018/19 CAF Champions League encounter with Algeria’s JS Saoura in Dar es Salaam in January. Simba won 3-0. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TFF

Simba, as per the competition’s draw for the quarterfinals, which was held in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, will host TP Mazembe at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on April 6 before a return leg match in Lubumbashi two weeks later.

Local football commentator, Michael Msemakweli, said for Simba to reach the semi-final stage, they need to utilize home ground advantage before the return leg in DRC.

He said Simba must score as many goals as possible at home.

"I am confident Simba can upset the highly rated TP Mazembe and advance to the next stage, but the only thing the team must avoid is conceding at home, instead they score more goals," he said.

John Semwanza, a football fan, also shared the same views, saying Simba must use home advantage for them to reach the semi-final stage.

He said having played against AS Vita Club of DRC in the group stage of the tournament, Simba are very familiar with football style of DRC.

"This is the stage where Simba must make use of the home ground by scoring many goals and avoid conceding away," he said.

Simba won all of the games at home, scoring six goals at the National Stadium, to make it to the last eight stage of the tournament.

The team started with a 3-0 win against Algeria giants, JS Saoura, and then posted 1-0 and 2-1 wins over Al Ahly of Egypt and AS Vita Club respectively.

But the Msimbazi Street-based side has a bad record playing away as they conceded 12 goals.

They went down 5-0 to AS Vita Club and lost to Al Ahly by the same margin and thereafter conceded 2-0 loss to JS Saoura.

Simba’s information officer, Haji Manara, said meeting TP Mazembe is not a problem to his team as they have a plan in place on how to beat the DRC side.

However, he said he will be in a better position to disclose many details on the assignment after the must win game of senior national team, Taifa Stars, against Uganda Cranes, penned for Sunday.