Musa Hassan’s seventh minute goal lasted throughout the rest of the game as Simba edged visiting Daring Club Motema Pembe in the first leg of the Confederations Cup at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
It was the visitors who launched speedy attacks early on only for the Simba striker to tap in a loose ball inside the box following a free kick by Mohamed Banka to seal off the victory against the run of play.
Playing before their home fans Simba were sparkling and tried hard to cut short the visitors’ sporadic attacks.
Motema Pembe would have levelled barely few minutes after conceding the goal only for the Nigerian referee to rule the scorer a controversial offside.
The visitors had besieged Simba’s goal for most of the second half as they tried to search for an equaliser.
The tempo of the game was increasing with Motema Pembe displayed intricate soccer to keep Simba defence under pressure.
The referee blew many offside whistles as Motema Pembe strikers became ambitious to draw level particularly in the second half of the game.
Simba suffered a huge blow as defender Haruna Shamte was sent off after collecting the second yellow midway into the second half.
Bokota Labama threw overboard a clear chance to pull an equaliser as his power-packed shot was saved by goalkeeper Juma Kaseja who worked above the call of duty.
The visitors were highly prone to Simba’s offside trap as they strived to search for an equaliser.
Juma Jabu overlapped inside the visitor’s goal area and came close to increase the tally after Motema Pembe goalkeeper Matambi Ley failed to clutch the ball firmly.
The DRC team was just unfortunate to score as Simba defender Salum Kanoni came close to cause havoc inside the box ten minutes to time.
It was a huge relief for the home side as defensive woes would have caused a blow to spoil their otherwise remarkable party.
Motema Pembe coach Andy Fitula complained bitterly after the match for the defeat blaming the referee for alleged biased officiating.
The return leg match will be played in Kinshasa in a fortnight as Simba coach Moses Basena hailed his players for the victory.
With such a slim victory, Simba need to be cautious during the return leg as there is no Tanzania team that has in the past knocked out a DRC side in continental football.
Simba were given the Confederations Cup slot after losing the Champions League play-off against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca three weeks ago.
Simba: Juma Kaseja, Haruna Shamte, Amir Maftah, Juma Nyosso, Kelvin Yondani, Amri Kiemba, Shija Mkina, Nichodemus Nyagawa/Juma Jabu, Emmanuel Okwi, Mussa Mgosi/Salum Kanoni, Mohamed Banka.
DC Motema Pembe:
Matambi Ley, Ungenda Bobo, Masombo Lino, Bivala Kembi/Ilonga Ngasanya, Bokese Gladys, Landu Makela, Nkanu Mbiyakanga Divika Dama, Kisombe Maukutima, Bokota Labama, Ilongo Ngasanya, Salakiaku Matonda.