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Thursday, September 21, 2023

CAFCL: Simba do just enough to edge Vipers, move back into contention in Group C

Tanzania’s Simba SC did enough to secure three important points with a 1-0 home victory over Ugandan champions Vipers SC on Tuesday in Group C action from the CAF Champions League. Clatous Chama’s finish in first half stoppage time leaves the Dar es Salaam club in second position with six points from four matches, two ahead of third placed Horoya AC and six back of Group C leaders Raja CA. Vipers remain on one point and are all but mathematically eliminated from contention for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Vipers continued their struggles on the big stage but the reigning Uganda Premier League champions did well to frustrate heavy favorites Simba on the day. Venoms goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza made a couple of important saves including his denial of Simba forward Pape Ousmane Sakho in the 5th minute. Simba attacker Saidi Ntibazonkiza was also denied a goal when his header came back off the crossbar in the 20th minute.

Just before halftime the Vipers defense was breached when Simba forward Moses Phiri passed to Zambian compatriot Chama at the edge of the penalty area. The playmaker slipped past a defender to the left side of the penalty area where he sent a low shot past Mudekereza to deliver a gut punch to the Ugandan visitors before the break.

However, Simba struggled to assert their dominance in the second half and a more adventurous Vipers team nearly equalized. In the 89th minute a corner kick was flicked on to Vipers substitute forward Ahmed Tety and the Ivorian’s shot was deflected to the edge of the six yard box where Abubakar Lawal was waiting. The Nigerian failed to take advantage though with his backheel going straight into the hands of Simba keeper Aishi Manula and that was the last opportunity for the visitors.

Video of Chama’s winner is below.