AFTER bowing out of the CAF Champions League, Tanzanian envoys Simba have promised to be a superior side when they participate in the event again next season.
The team’s assistant skipper Mohamed Hussein said this after his team suffered a 4-1 loss to TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Saturday, that they enjoyed excitement, thrills and challenges they faced during the tournament, the experience that gave them ample time to prepare well for similar event next time.
“We enjoyed playing in the tournament it is a good thing and we enjoy it a lot. We want to be there again next year as better and a superior side,” said Hussein. Simba returned to the group stage of the Champions League after last time playing in it sixteen years ago.
Hussein, who played brilliantly in the return leg, said the experience they gained is vital and will help the club much in their next continental level tournaments.
It was the second-leg of the quarterfinals staged at the fully packed Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi in which Simba were beaten squarely by the five time winners of the tournament.
The Msimbazi Reds bowed out on 4-1 aggregate defeat, following a barren draw in the first leg match held at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam a week ago.
TP Mazembe scored twice in each half after an early goal by Emmanuel Okwi. Mazembe’s goals were netted by Kaboso Chongo and Meschack Elia in the first half before Tresor Mputu and Jackson Muleka netted in the second half.
Simba needed a draw of any number of goals to progress into the semifinals of the competition courtesy of away goal rule and there were some beliefs, when Emmanuel Okwi grabbed a surprise lead for Simba just after two minutes.
The Ugandan striker latched onto a clever pass from creative midfielder Haruna Niyonzima, rounded off goalkeeper, Sylvain Gbohouo to net the opener and silenced the capacity crowd.
This was the second time for Okwi to score for Simba against Mazembe at the own back yard. Okwi scored the lone goal for Simba in a 3-1 defeat to Mazembe in the same tournament in 2011.
The hosts led by Tresor Mputu, Rainford Kalaba and Jackson Muleka simply tormented Simba defenders, who were reckless and porous. Had it not been the brilliant performance by goalkeeper, Aisha Manula, who was left vulnerable Simba could have conceded even by a bigger margin.
TP Mazembe opted for long balls as they press for an equaliser and in the 13th minute Mputu’s set piece was well met by Kalaba’s header but sailed wide.
Three minutes later, James Ochaya’s long shot narrowly sailed wide. It was all square in the 23rd minute, as Simba conceded an easy goal, as Kaboso Chongo tapped the ball into the net after Simba failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.
Simba could not resist in the 63rd minute, when Mputu banged in the third after Manula had initially blocked Elia’s shot. In the 70th minute Okwi was replaced by youngster, Rashid Juma but the hosts’ appetite for goals was still high.
They drilled the last nail into the coffin in the 75th minute through Muleka.