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Simba get the better of Vipers in Kampala in Champions League

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Simba SC players celebrate their win over Vipers. PHOTO/Simba
  • Simba SC beat Vipers 1-0 to pick their first win of thew group
  • Vipers are winless after three matches
  • Esperance beat Zamalek 2-0 in the other match

Tanzania’s Simba SC came out tops of the East African derby in the C AF Champions League Group C meeting with Uganda’s Vipers, after edging them by a solitary goal in Kampala.

Defender Hennock Inonga bagged the all important goal for Wekundu wa Msimbazi to edge out Vipers at their own home turf at the St Mary’s Stadium in Kampala, a result that revived their hopes of battling for a quarter final ticket. The win lifts them third in the standings with three points after three matches, while Vipers are bottom with just a point from last weekend’s draw against Horoya at the same venue.

“I am delighted with how we performed and how we played. It was an important match and we booked an important win against a very tough opponent,” said Simba’s head coach Robert Oliveira.

The Brazilian was making his first return to Uganda, since he crossed over from Vipers to Simba at the start of the year. He was the one who led Vipers to qualification into the group stages.

Simba open the scoring through Inonga

Ingonga scored in the 20th minute, running on the blind side of a defender to boot the ball home at the backpost after Moses Phiri had nodded a cross into his direction.

Zambian Phiri had been the most exciting player for Simba, and he had some chances before the goal. In the eighth minute, he had found space on the right but his shot came off the side netting.

In the 16th minute he played Dennis Kibu through, but the striker’s effort was well collected by the Vipers keeper.

The home side had come chances, with Abdu Lumala striking inches wide after a good shot on the half turn. Skipper Milton Karisa forced a good save off Aishi Manula in the 35th minute when he drove a low shot in, but the custodian pushed it away.

The captain however had to be stretchered off injured at the stroke of halftime, and his place taken by Ibrahim Orit.

In the second half, Vipers pushed to try get into the game, but they couldn’t get it right in the final third. At the stroke of fulltime, they were almost caught out on the counter, but Clatous Chama, under pressure from Livingstone Mulondo was wide.

Esperance edge out Zamalek in Rades

Elsewhere in Rades, Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane scored a 92nd minute sucker punch to add on to Mohammed Ali Ben Hammouda’s first half goal as Esperance made it three wins in three matches with a well worked victory over Egypt’s Zamalek.

Taraji sit top of Group D with a maximum nine points from three matches, with four goals scored and they are yet to concede a goal.

Esperance dominated the match and rightly claimed victory in their home turf.

In the 14th minute, Ben Hammouda and Raed Bouchniba both had efforts blocked on the line after Zamalek struggled to clear a setpiece. Hamdou Elhouni also had an effort hit the side netting with a shot from the right.

They finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, Hammouda volleying the ball home from close range after the Zamalek keeper had punched a cross right into his path.

Zamalek didn’t have much of a response and the closest they came from then on, was via an improvised volley from Shikabala which rolled straight into the keeper’s arms.

In the second half, Zamalek stepped up as they bid to scratch the single goal trail.

But, in their push to get back into the game, they were caught on the counter, Elhouni rolling the ball to Ben Romdhane to slide home in the second minute of added time.

Pressure is now on Zamalek who have lost two matches and have just one point from their draw against Al Merreikh.

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