Simba aiming for historic CAF CL comeback win over Kaizer Chiefs

Simba aiming for historic CAF CL comeback win over Kaizer Chiefs
Simba players warm up during the 2021 CAF Champions League

by Bertin Basson

Friday May 21, 2021. 10:00

Simba SC will be aiming to complete a historic comeback win when they host Kaizer Chiefs in a 2020-21 CAF Champions League quarterfinal second-leg fixture on Saturday.

Kick-off at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium is set for 15h00 CAT (SA, GMT+2).

The Amakhosi will take a 4-0 aggregate lead into the match in Dar es Salaam following a commanding display at FNB Stadium last weekend. Goals from Erick Mathoho, Samir Nurkovic (two) and Leonardo Castro have given Chiefs a huge lead, but Simba won’t throw in the towel and will take confidence from their rich history of comebacks.

The Reds of Msimbazi boast the biggest comeback victory in the competition’s history. In 1979, the Tanzanian giants beat Zambia’s Mufulira Wanderers 5-0 away after losing 4-0 in the first-leg and will need a similar result to keep their hopes of a first Champions League crown alive.

“I don’t know, anything can happen in football,” said a dejected Simba head coach Didier Gomes following their defeat in Soweto. “For sure, we are very disappointed, but we are alive, and we are breathing, and when you breathe, you have hopes, so we keep our minds on that.

“It’s very important to believe that you can change the process, but for sure if we want to do something good next week, we have to be aggressive, efficient and we don’t know what can happen in football.”

Chiefs head coach Gavin Hunt is mindful of the fact that Simba will be a different team on home soil and has revealed what the South African giants can expect, despite his team carrying a sizeable advantage into the second-leg.

“My biggest gripe in the last 10 minutes was that even if it became 4-1, they could get a sniff. So, it was huge to go there [with a clean sheet],” Hunt said.

“I think we’re going to try, if we can score one there then it’s really [one foot in the semifinals], but I mean that’s going to be easier said than done.

“They’ll certainly raise their game, they’re a big club and they’ve got a lot of pride to play for, so I’m sure they’ll come out with a huge, different mentality and everything else that goes with it.

“I’ve been there [in Tanzania] before [with Bidvest Wits in 2016], we played Azam here and when we went there they were a totally different side, it looked like they had 12-13 players [on the pitch].

“So, it will be a totally different game; let’s put this [4-0] to bed, we’ll be working on the training and trying to improve the things we can, that’s all we can do,” he underlined.

The aggregate winner will face either Mouloudia Club d’Alger or Wydad Casablanca for a place in this year’s final.

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