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Football

Simba, Yanga in positive start to CAF Champions League

Simba1
Simba celebrate their win in Malawi. PHOTO/Simba
  • Simba, Yanga all picked up first leg wins
  • The second leg matches will be played next weekend
  • This is the first preliminary round of the 2022-23 season

Tanzanian giants Simba and Yanga picked up positive results as the 2022-23 season of the CAF Champions League kicked off with the first leg of the preliminary round of matches this weekend.

In Malawi, Simba SC under new interim coach Juma Mgunda clinched a vital 2-0 victory on the road against Nyasa Big Bullets, putting them in the leading position ahead of the second leg in Dar es Salaam next weekend.

Goals from Moses Phiri and John Raphael Bocco handed them the important victory.

“I am happy we on especially because we were playing away from home, but the game is not over until its over. We have the second leg in Dar next weekend and we know they will come strongly. For us, we will also go back and look at what we did wrong and try improve,” said Mgunda after the match.

He added; “The coach’s work is always seen with the outcome on the pitch and how the players play. I am glad that I have started with a win despite being here for only a short time. Coach Matola (Selemani) who was with the team before I came helped me a lot to know where the team was and what was needed.”

Simba broke the deadlock in the 29th minute when Moses Phiri scored a brilliant overhead kick after Clatous Chama’s freekick was headed into his direction inside the box.

Moses Phiri

Moses Phiri scored a sublime overhead kick against Nyasa. PHOTO/Simba

The visitors were rewarded for a good start that saw them pin their hosts in their half for most of the opening exchanges.

In the second half, the Malawian side came back tougher and were determined to get their way back into the match. They had chances but couldn’t convert.

They were ultimately punished in the 83rd minute when Bocco scored the second. Chama was once again involved in the goal, this time picking up a long ball behind the defense. He did well to skip beyond the keeper but was forced wide.

He however had a calm head, cutting back the ball for Bocco to fire home.

Yanga thrash South Sudan’s Zalan in Dar

Yanga's Fiston Mayele

Yanga’s Fiston Mayele celebrates his hatrick against Zalan. PHOTO/Yanga

Elsewhere in Dar es Salaam, Yanga picked up a massive 4-0 victory over South Sudan’s Zalan Rumbek FC. Fiston Mayele proved his money’s worth by hitting a hattrick for the Tanzanian double champions as they started their path to the second round with an emphatic victory.

After a period of resistance from the South Sudanese, Mayele broke the deadlock for Yanga at the start of the second half when he bounced in a header unmarked at the backpost off a Dennis Nkane cross from the left.

The goal eased off the pressure on Yanga and they played with more fluidity and it didn’t take long before Salum Feisal doubled their lead with a decent finish.

But from then on, Zalan tried to add some pressure and contained Yanga, but they were deflated with the third goal coming through Mayele who deflected a strike from Salum inside the box.

Mayele completed his hattrick in the 88th minute when he ran on to a long ball before hitting it low beyond the keeper, for a massive victory for the yellow and green nation.

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