By Tanzania Correspondent, Dar es Salaam – Mainland champions Simba are facing Africa’s soccer giants TP Mazembe in tomorrow’s (Sunday) return CAF Champions tie amid hopes and despair among its fans
In the much awaited game to be played at the 60,000 seater modern National Stadium Soccer Complex. Simba will need to fight for a 2-0 win to eliminate Mazembe who enjoyed a 3-1 win at home in Lubumbashi two weeks ago. Mazembe are already in Dar es Salaam. They arrived through a private jet as Simba had their training camp in the now rainy Dar es Salaam.
A cross section of soccer fans in Dar show a divided mood. Some believe Simba which once went up to the finals of CAF games in early 1990’s may hold on Mazembe with a historic result.
The Tanzanian champions have a combination of budding Tanzanian national team players with some professionals from Kenya and Uganda. A Uganda up coming international striker, Emmanuel Okwi who scored a lone goal in Lubumbashi through a penalty kick will lead Simba’s front line tomorrow supported by fellow Ugandan, Patrick Ochan and Kenyan Jerry Santo, in the mid-field.
The only problem worrying Simba fans is the current performance of the defense and the goalkeeping side. The Tanzanian considered number one goalkeeper Juma K. Juma is out of form. He has recently lost control of the goal and was left out in the first eleven when Tanzania national team beat Central African Republic 2-1 in a home game last week.
“The major shortfall of the host side is how best to maintain a clean sheet during the regulation 90 minutes of the game if they are to realize their dream,” says one soccer analyst in a local press.