Simba SC failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the African Football League despite forcing a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly in the return leg fixture at Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday.
Having settled for a 2-2 draw in the first leg quarter-final at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium four days ago, the Tanzanian Premier League giants needed a win to advance but the 1-1 draw meant Al Ahly qualified on the away goals rule.
It was Simba, who scored first in the 68th minute through Sadio Kanoute, but Mahmoud Kahraba put the Red Devils level in the 75th minute. In the 24th minute, Al Ahly thought they had taken the lead when Kahraba found the back of the net with his left foot off a cross from Percy Tau, but it was ruled out for offside and a minute later, it was Simba, who had their first chance of the game as Denis Kibu was put through by John Bocco but goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy came out quickly to stop the danger.
El Shenawy was injured in the process and needed the attention of Al Ahly’s medics before he was cleared to continue. In the 33rd minute, Tau, who was having a great game from the left wing, delivered another dangerous cross which Hussein El Shahat headed over the bar.
In the second half, Simba were the first to make a change when Jean Othos Beleke came on for Bocco. In the 54th minute, Simba’s goalkeeper Salim was forced into an excellent save to deny El Shahat as the North African giants continued to put pressure for the opening goal.
However, it was Simba who broke the deadlock in the 68th minute when Sadio Kanoute’s ball squeezed past El Shenawy but seven minutes later, Kahraba found space outside the box to slot past Salim and level the scoreline.
Simba starting XI: Ally Salim, Fabrice Ngoma, Sadio Kanoute, Ntibazonkiza Saidi, Shomari Kapombe, Mohamed Hussein, Clatous Chama, Junior Fondoh, John Bocco, Henock Igonga and Denis Kibu.
Al Ahly XI; Mohamed El Shenawy, Ramy Radia, Mahmoud Kahraba, Percy Tau, Marwan Attia, Hussein El Shahat, Aliou Dieng, Mohamed Magdy, Aly Maaloul, Mohamed Abdelmoniem, and Mohamed Hany.