Simba’s Gonzalez: CAFCL quarterfinals not secured yet

Simba’s Gonzalez: CAFCL quarterfinals not secured yet

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Mar 09, 2021. 10:00

Simba SC CEO Barbara Gonzalez has warned the team that a place in the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League is far from secure, despite their strong lead at the top of Group A.

The Tanzanian giants are sitting pretty at the top of the log with seven points – three points ahead of DR Congo’s AS Vita and Egyptian heavyweights Al Ahly, who are tied for second place.

Simba played to a 0-0 draw away to Sudanese side Al Merrikh this past weekend, following from their 1-0 wins over Vita and Ahly on Matchdays 1 and 2 respectively.

According to Gonzalez, Simba will only feel comfortable in terms of progression to the final eight if and when they secure another three points.

“We are ready to reach the quarterfinals and if we end up topping the group or coming second, we don’t know but our main target is to reach the quarters,” Gonzalez told Talent TV, as quoted by Goal.

“In terms of what position we finish in the group, we leave that one to God, but for now we are topping the group, with a clean sheet and seven points, and we are expecting when Al Merrikh come for the fourth match, we get three points so we can sit comfortably at the top of the group with 10 points.

“We don’t know what will happen with our two remaining matches after we play Al Merrikh against AS Vita and Al Ahly.

“Our target still remains, to reach the quarterfinals and we are now targeting a minimum of ten points to achieve our goal.”

The 2-2 draw between Ahly and Vita in this past weekend’s other Group A game was a boost to Simba’s hopes.

“It was good news for us, it is a big advantage for us because, first of all, our opponents [two of them] dropped points, and secondly, it shows you how tough this group is,” explained Gonzalez.

“It shows you AS Vita is a big and dangerous team, and Al Ahly are also a big team, but remember we beat both of them, and for them to draw it is a big advantage for us, and it also shows that our team is also big because we managed to beat both teams.

“It also shows that this group will not be easy, it will be tough and we need to plan and prepare well to make it out of the group.

“On our way to Dar es Salaam after our game against Al Merrikh we met AS Vita in Ethiopia and I personally talked to their coach and congratulated him for the 2-2 draw against Al Ahly, and told him it was very entertaining football, they put up in Cairo.”

Simba will next face Merrikh at home on Tuesday 16 March, with Vita hosting Ahly in Kinshasa on the same day.

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