Simba shorten Lengthens

Simba head coach Patrick Phiri instructs his players during a Mainland premiership game in this file photo. The Zambian led his boys into a resounding 3-0 goals over hosts Lenghtens FC played at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare yesterday.

Newly crowned Mainland champions Simba delivered a warning statement as they pulverized hosts Lengthens FC by comprehensive 3-0 goals in the first leg match of the Confederation of African Football played at the Rufaro Stadium here, yesterday.

Simba’s dead-ball specialist Mohamed Banka opened the floodgates after 32 minutes when his power-packed shot sailed straight into the net leving Lengthens’ custodian flat footed.

Barely four minutes later, the hosts found the tide too high to swim as they conceded the second goal, when talismanic striker Musa Hassan had his glancing header off Mike Barasa’s corner kick ricocheting into the yawning net.

The visitors took to the dressing rooms with a great composure of two goals cushion sending turbulent shockwaves to their hosts.

Simba resumed the second half with great determination as they besieged their opponent’s goal with frequent attacks while thwarting all incoming raids into their territory.

While most of the fans believed their team had lost by two goals, substitute Mohamed Kijuso proved them wrong with a last-gasp goal.

The host side (popularly known as the Happy People) have an arduous task to overturn the 3-0 goals defeat during their visit in Dar es Salaam in the next two weeks, should they need to make progression into the next round.

Simba have so far put themselves on pole position as they need to draw at home to sail through over the Zimbabweans. The Happy People would not shaken the Mainland champions despite massive home ground advantage.

Simba team and players who had a cold reception when they landed here on Tuesday, celebrated all the way to Quality International Hotel where they were booked by their hosts.

Simba are expected to board a home-bound flight today in readiness for their return leg tie and premiership derby against rivals Young Africans on April 12.

Coach Patrick Phiri said his boys played as planned and they look forward to post another win at home ground.

Simba remain the only team in the country to survive in the continental championships after failure of three other teams, namely Miembeni, Mafunzo and Young Africans.

The champions are featuring in the CAF Confederations Cup after finishing runners up in the previous season’s league. The team lost in the final of the old version of the CAF Cup to Stella Abidjan in 1993.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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