Tanzania: Simba Seek Solace in Costal Union Duel

AFTER bowing out of the CAF Champions League, Simba are now back home with all weapons aimed at Coastal Union who host the Msimbazi street giants at Mkwakwani stadium tomorrow.

The team's Head Coach Patrick Aussems said yesterday that they are taking their league matches seriously starting with the Wednesday clash with Coastal Union.

Simba bowed out of the race for the CAF Champions League title after losing 4-1 to TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi, DR Congo on Saturday.

He said they have learnt a lot, excitement and challenges, hence after the participation, his players are back well drilled and ready for the home assignments.

"We have lost a ticket to play in semis, we don't regret because we met good teams with quality players. We have fought bravery despite losing at the very end," said Aussems.

Simba players arrived in Tanga yesterday and began training for the Wednesday clash. The success of Simba in the tournament has lifted much Tanzania as from next year Tanzania will field four teams; two in the CAF Champions League and other two in CAF Confederation Cup.

The possible beneficiaries of the Simba success include their traditional rivals Young Africans, Azam FC while others like Lipuli FC and KMC might also win one of the tickets if they perform well in their ASFA Cup.

Adding, Simba SC Assistant skipper, Mohamed Hussein hopes his team to be a superior side after the continental level mission. He said experience they have gained gives them ample time to prepare well for next year assignments.

"We enjoyed playing in the tournament it is a good thing and we enjoyed it a lot. We want to be there again next year as better and a superior side," said Hussein. Simba returned to the group stage of the Champions League after last time playing in it sixteen years ago.

Hussein, who played brilliantly in the return leg, said the experience they gained is vital and will help the club much in their next continental level tournaments.

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

Simba needed a draw of any number of goals 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.

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.

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