Simba SC head coach Abdelhak Benchikha has expressed optimism that his team will still qualify for the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League.
His assertion comes despite succumbing to a late 0-1 defeat against Wydad Casablanca at Stade de Marrakech in Morocco over the weekend. It was the first upset for Simba in the group stage that has sent them to the bottom place in Group B with two points in three matches.
As the match appeared headed for a goalless draw, a last-gasp strike by Zakaria Draoui dented Simba’s hopes to clinch a third successive draw of the competition as they dropped a maximum of three points in the end.
“Everything that happened gives us a way forward to our preparations for the upcoming game,” said Benchikha after the game, adding: “We have seen the areas of our strength and weakness. We will work on the challenges we observed to improve in our next games.”
Despite the upsetting result, Benchikha lauded his side for their impressive performance. “We had a good game as you saw, we played very well only that we could not put the ball into the net… about the performance, I am satisfied but not happy with the results.”
Both Simba and Yanga SC have picked two points from three Champions League matches and are at the bottom of their groups. Meanwhile, the two giants will have to switch their focus to the Tanzanian Premier League contest, albeit briefly as they play crucial games hunting for essential points.
Simba will welcome Kagera Sugar at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Friday. It will be the ninth league match for Simba this season hoping to get back to winning ways after securing a 1-1 draw against Namungo in their previous match at the same venue on November 9.
Similarly, defending champions Yanga will host struggling side Mtibwa Sugar at Azam Complex in the city on Saturday before clashing with Ghana’s Madeama SC at Benjamin Mkapa’s Stadium on Tuesday next week.