- Simba beat Primero 3-1 in the first leg away from home
- They just need a draw to progress
- Yanga and Uganda’s Vipers will also be in action
Tanzanian giants Simba SC will be keen not to repeat mistakes from last season when they take on Angola’s Primero de Agosto in the return tie of their CAF Champions League second preliminary round fixture this weekend.
Simba lead the Angolan outfit 3-1 from the first leg played in Luanda last weekend and will need in the least a draw to progress to the group stages or in the worst, a 1-0 defeat.
Last season, they were in a similar position against Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy. They led 2-0 from the away leg and only needed a draw at home to earn a slot in the groups, but they ended up losing 3-1 and missing out on the group phases.
With lessons learnt, they are keen not to let their guard down.
Interim coach Juma Mgunda says the team is prepared well and are keen to bank a win at home and complete the journey.
“We have prepared for the return leg to ensure we do well and continue with this journey,” the veteran tactician said.
He added; “The job is not over until its over. We have just made one step and we have one more. We are putting all our thoughts and energy into the second leg to ensure we do the same. We have some weaknesses we picked out from the first leg and we have worked on them. We have also worked on the strengths to ensure we do them better.”
He adds; “They are not an easy team despite the score-line from the first leg. They are champions in their own rights and we will prepare to face them with the seriousness they deserve.”
While they will be playing in their home turf at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, their arch rivals Yanga will be in Omdurman, taking on Al Hilal in another tough encounter. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg match in Dar last weekend.
Yanga with tough task in Sudan
Yanga have a bigger task, and will need a win or a high scoring draw to progress to the group stage. A 0-0 draw will see Hilal go through on the away goal rule. A win for Yanga, will assure them of a group stage berth.
They are seeking to claim a group stage berth for the first time since 1998, when the group phase was an eight-team affair.
“It is no doubt going to be a tough match but we have prepared well for it. We know playing away from home is not easy but the players have their confidence up and we want to create history for this generation,” said Nasreddine Nabi, the Yanga coach.
They will once again be relying on their lead striker Fiston Kalala Mayele, who scored in the first leg, to hoist them beyond Hilal and make the group phase.
Another East African side which will be keen to make history is Ugandan champions Vipers SC who will be playing Congolese giants TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi. The two sides played to a goalless draw in the first leg in Kampala last weekend.
Vipers look for history in Congo
Any scoring draw will be enough to take Vipers through. On a tough hunting ground, the Ugandans are keen to ensure they drown the giants.
Head coach Roberto Oliveira has charged up his team to ensure they step in and give their best.
“Some people have written us off after the first leg goalless draw but we are determined to give our best against on Saturday. It won’t be a walk in the park for TP Mazembe,” said the coach.
His sentiments are echoed by assistant captain Yunus Sentamu who says; “They have played in this competition for many years and also won it a number of times. But we have no option but to attack them because we need goals. Attack is the weapon we are going to use.”
Vipers have never qualified for the group stages and are keen to achieve history.