14 April 2019

Tanzania: Mazembe Avalanche Sinks Simba

IT is end of the road for Simba SC after they hit a hurdle in CAF Champions League, following a 4-1 defeat to DR Congo's TP Mazembe yesterday.

The second-leg of the quarterfinals was staged at the fully packed Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi in which Simba were beaten squarely by the five time winners of the tournament.

The Msimbazi Reds bow out on 4-1 aggregate defeat, following a barren draw in the first leg match held at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam a week ago.

TP Mazembe scored twice in each half after an early goal by Emmanuel Okwi.

Mazembe's goals were netted by Kaboso Chongo and Meshack Elia in the first half before Tresor Mputu and Jackson Muleka netted in the second half.

Simba needed a draw of any number of goals yesterday to progress into the semifinals of the competition courtesy of away goal rule and there were some beliefs, when Emmanuel Okwi grabbed a surprise lead for Simba just after two minutes.

The Ugandan striker latched onto a clever pass from creative midfielder Haruna Niyonzima, rounded off goalkeeper, Sylvain Gbohouo to net the opener and silenced the capacity crowd.

This was the second time for Okwi to score for Simba against Mazembe at the own back yard. Okwi scored the lone goal for Simba in a 3-1 defeat to Mazembe in the same tournament in 2011.

Despite taking an early lead in the yesterday's game, Simba failed to keep their leaky defence water tight once again, as they allowed TP Mazembe to launch deadly forays in their territory.

The hosts led by Tresor Mputu, Rainford Kalaba and Jackson Muleka simply tormented Simba defenders, who were reckless and porous. Had it not been the brilliant performance by goalkeeper, Aisha Manula, who was left vulnerable Simba, could have conceded even by a bigger margin.

TP Mazembe opted for long ball as they press for an equaliser and in the 13th minute Mputu's set piece was well met by Kalaba's header but sailed wide. Three minutes later, James Ochaya's long shot narrowly sailed wide.

It was all square in the 23rd minute, as Simba conceded an easy goal, as Kaboso Chongo tapped the ball into the net after Simba failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.

In the 36th minute, Manula came fully stretched to block a danger from the left but a minute later, Meshack Elia walked the ball into the back of the net, capitalising on Zana Coulibaly's failure to clear the danger.

Elia raced to a long ball from Joseph Ochaya. Two minutes before the break, Simba survived a scare when Elia had the better of Coulibaly but his shot came off the top bar.

After the break, Patrick Aussems introduced striker, Meddie Kagere for Muzamir Yassin, while Clatous Chama replaced Jjuuko Murshid but it was Mazembe, who started strongly. Manula continued to make brilliant saves, denying Kalaba, Mputu and Muleka clear scoring chances.

In the 50th minute, Muleka thought he had scored the third but Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe ruled it out for offside. Two minutes later, Manula went to a full stretch to parry off another cracking shot from Ochaya. Simba could not resist in the 63rd minute, when Mputu banged in the third after Manula had initially blocked Elia's shot.

It all started from a grave mistake by James Kotei, as he conceded possession cheaply to allow Elia latch onto the ball In the 70th minute Okwi was replaced by youngster, Rashid Juma but the host's appetite for goals was still high.

They drilled the last nail into the coffin in the 75th minute through Muleka. It was another poor display by Simba defenders as the scorer managed to drive past Mohamed Hussein, Kotei and Erasto Nyoni to cleverly beat Manula.

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