Simba play Lengthens

Simba coach Patrick Phiri

Unwavering Simba take on Lengthens FC in the first leg clash of the Confederation of African Football’s Cup at Rufaro Stadium in Harare today.

After a torrid three days of cold reception and intimidation, the Tanzanian champions take to the field beaming with confidence, so says the club’s information officer Clifford Ndimbo.

Ndimbo said all is well for the Tanzanian side and morale is high as the team were outside the continental tourney for the past two years.

Finalists in 1993 after losing to Cote d’Ivoire’s Stella Abidjan, Simba have vowed to excel in the tourney to revive their hey days as force to reckon with in continental football.

Not much is known for their hosts despite Simba’s Zambian coach Patrick Phiri’s secret visit a week earlier to investigate the prowess of their opponents.

After pre-mature premiership title haul, coach Phiri would like to extend his dominance and showcase his rich talent to inspire his boys into continental soccer success.

For Phiri to realise his dream, Simba need to post an outright victory to stay on pole position ahead of the return leg tie set in a fortnight.

Hotel check-in delay and unavailability of training ground were some of the hostility actions Simba faced upon their arrival in the Zimbabwean capital.

The match in Harare would be followed by home fans with obstinate zeal as they would like to weigh their team’s chances of making progression into the next stage of the league.

Simba remain the only club in the country to remain in the continental championships following the crash out of three other teams, two from Zanzibar.

Former mainland champions Young Africans, Miembeni and Mafunzo from Zanzibar are the early casualties in the CAF tourney as they are out of the race to focus on domestic league.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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