Tanzanian giants Simba SC have their eyes on securing a quarterfinal spot in the CAF Champions League and the Reds of Msimbazi have an excellent chance to finish the job when they host Guinean champions Horoya AC at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday. The Group C clash will leave the top-two spots decided if Simba defeat Horoya, who are currently two points behind in third place and will be eliminated for contention for the knockout stage if they fail to win or draw in Tanzania’s largest city.
Simba players have further incentives to get the job done on Saturday. The team will receive 200 million Tanzanian shillings ($85,473) if they defeat Horoya, double from the usual prize money for a CAF Champions League match. Head coach Robertinho was hard at work this week analyzing Simba’s 1-0 defeat at Horoya in their opening Group C match and indicated he is fixing the mistakes that cost the team points in Conakry. Robertinho acknowledged the quality that Horoya possess in their squad but is determined to finish the job and achieve the club’s goal of qualification for the knockout stages.
The Brazilian tactician will have a mostly full strength to call upon with the exception of Ghanaian attacker Augustine Okrah who continues to be out due to a finger injury. Zambian playmaker Clatous Chama continues to be the most influential player in the renowned Simba attack after scoring the only goal in the team’s victory over Vipers SC, while countryman Moses Phiri provided the assist for both match winners against Vipers including Chama’s goal in the home victory and Henoc Ilunga Baka’s finish in Uganda. Home supporters will be expecting multiple goals, something Simba surprisingly have yet to accomplish in the group stage with only two goals in four matches.
While Simba managed to defeat Group C’s last placed team Vipers home and away, Horoya failed to score in a 0-0 draw in Uganda and that result is the difference between the teams currently. Now the Conakry giants need to earn at a draw or victory in a difficult atmosphere for visitors and will be without head coach Lappe Bangoura. The veteran Guinean tactician revealed to local publication Conakry Sports that he is in Paris for family reasons, rejecting reports that health issues kept him from traveling to Tanzania.
Assistant coach Sekou Soumah will lead the team and has positive news ahead of the match. Prolific Horoya striker Yakhouba Gnagba Barry is back in action for the club after a four month suspension from FIFA for breaching a contract agreement with French Ligue 2 club Quevilly Rouen. It remains to be seen if Barry is fit enough to play from the beginning but his goal scoring ability gives Horoya a dependable option along with Senegalese attacker Pape Ndiaye. Central midfielder Fode Camara will be crucial for the visitors with the ability to stop attacks as well as contribute to Horoya attacks with his improved passing skill.
More on both teams with the latest news is below.