After producing an encouraging 2-2 draw against Power Dynamos in their away CAF Champions League’s second preliminary round first-leg fixture, Simba SC’s Coach Roberto Oliveira is optimistic they will play in the group stages of the competition.
It will be historic if Simba and their traditional rivals, Yanga SC, who secured a 2-0 win over Sudan’s Al Merreikh, play together in the Champions League’s group stage. However, to achieve this status, Simba and Yanga have to clear Power Dynamos and Al Merrikh hurdles respectively when they meet them in the second leg clashes in Dar es Salaam in two weeks’ time.
For Simba, a 2-2 away draw at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia over the weekend has helped them to smell the competition’s group stage. Likewise, Yanga’s 2-0 victory over Al Merreikh at Kigali Pele Stadium in Rwanda also pushed them close to the last 16 category of the contest though there is another fresh game to go before reaching the Promised Land.
In his immediate reaction after the game, Simba coach Roberto Oliveira hailed his side’s second-half performance insisting that the substitutions he made were effective.
“In the first half, our opponents played better than us but we came stronger in the second half and I am satisfied with the second half performance,” he said, adding: “I am going to prepare a new strategy to play at home and as you know, I like my team to play in the opponent’s field…I do not like to play behind,” said the Brazilian trainer who is eager to take Simba to the next round.”
He continued: “Today, in the second half, I changed everything, I put more offensive players and we played very well. I believe in our capacity, I believe in God and in my capacity too. For the second leg, I think we have a good chance to qualify.”
On his part, Power Dynamos coach Mwanya Chipepo said: “As a coach, I can be disappointed but at the same time, I appreciate what my players did today,” adding: “We were playing against a very experienced team like I said the last time, they (Simba) have been competing in this competition for a long time and they have more experience than us.”