TP Mazembe could be Simba`s turning point

Simba`s possible last 16th pairing with double African champions TP Mazembe could be the turning point for the Mainland Tanzania title holders.

The first round match against a Comoro side Elan de Mitsoudje is presumably an easy ride for Simba though soccer retains unpredictability status.

Hoping Simba would sail through, their next opponents’ in line are certainly TP Mazembe, holders of CAF Champions League title for the second season running.

The boys from Lubumbashi have a well documented soccer background and Simba must surely work above the call of duty to produce the biggest upset in African football early next year.

With the first leg being played in Lubumbashi, Simba would enjoy home ground a decisive leg only if they escape unhurt in the copper belt opener.

Patrick Phiri and his counterpart Lamine Ndiaye stay in focus for that Champions League clash should it happen.

TP Mazembe, whose status has been elevated after reaching the FIFA world club championship final in Abu Dhabi last weekend, know what it takes to plot a hat-trick title retention bid.

Phiri, who declared to be indifferent for any opponent ahead of the CAF draw, personally knows the gravity of confronting the Lubumbashi dazzling boys.

Simba, a club with rich background among all from Tanzania in connection with continental championship, might polish its history should it cross the TP Mazembe hurdle.

The last time Simba managed to win the last eight CAF Champions League berth was in 2003 after sending packing Egypt’s Zamalek in a dramatic penalty shootouts.

Their Champions League success came five years after arc rivals Young Africans became the first club in Tanzania to make it in the newly formatted CAF tourney.

Exactly 36 years ago, it was Simba, who reached the African club champions’ semifinal, a milestone achievement by then for a Tanzanian soccer club.

The explosive TP Mazembe, whose juggernaut character has sent shivers across the continent, must be approached with precise care if Simba need to turn history books into shreds.

Simba might have the urge, quest and charisma to halt TP Mazembe’s hat trick continental title haul but the Lubumbashi boys have all the needed confidence ahead of the two legs.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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