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Simba beat Vipers in East Africa derby to revive Champions League hopes

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Clatous Chama celebrates his goal with Simba SC fans. PHOTO/Simba SC
  • Simba beat Vipers 1-0 home and away
  • They have now moved to six points
  • Vipers chances are now only mathematical

Tanzanian giants Simba SC have revived their hopes of qualifying to the quarter finals of the CAF Champions League after beating Uganda’s Vipers SC 1-0 in Dar es Salaam. Simba completed a home and away sweep of the Ugandan side to move second in their group.

“It was a good performance from the team and I said from the start it was going to be difficult but we will do everything we can to win. I am happy that we have a chance and now, we will need to give our best for the last two matches,” said Simba’s coach Roberto Oliveira, coincidentally the same coach who led Vipers to qualifying for the group stages for the first time ever.

Vipers’ Beto Bianchi, the man who inherited Oliveira at Vipers said his team was unlucky.

“This is one of the best games we have played in this competition and we were very unlucky not to win. We had the chances, we had possession but luck was not on our side. All is not lost and we will give our all for the two remaining matches,” he said.

Vipers with poor scoring record 

Clatous Chama in action

Clatous Chama in action. PHOTO/Simba SC

Vipers have not scored in all their four matches and sit bottom of the group with just one point from their 0-0 draw with Horoya at home.

Clatous Chama scored the lone goal for Wekundu wa Msimbazi who now need to earn at least four points from their next match to qualify for the next round. Vipers’ hopes are now reduced to mathematical chances as they are bottom with one point.

They have an away trip to Horoya and a home duel against Raja and they must win both to have a realistic chance.

Chama scored Simba’s winner at the stroke of halftime when he squeezed the ball between the keeper’s legs from a tight angle on the left.

Before that, the home side which enjoyed 62pc of possession in the opening half had good chances, with Saidi Ntibazonkiza denied by an acrobatic save from the keeper with a swinging shot before his header came off the bar.

Vipers push in the second half 

In the second half, Vipers came off pushing to get back into the game and they thought they had scored their first goal in the group stage, but Yunus Sentamu’s effort was chalked off for offside.

In the 89th minute, Abubakar Lawal should have done better when a recycled corner was brought back into the area, but his effort with an audacious backheel spiraled straight to the keeper’s arms.

Simba defended with heart to ensure the score remained the same, and their hopes of a last eight berth well and alive.

Simba played the quarter finals of the CAF Confederation Cup last season, but the allure of a bigger achievement in the Champions League is pushing them on to achieve their target.

They will face off with Raja away from home and Horoya in Dar es Salaam in their last two matches.

The duel against Horoya will be a must win for them, noting the Guineans are just two points behind them in the table.

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