The club’s CEO explains why she believes they have a good chance to win the first leg meeting against the Platinum Miners
The Tanzanian champions will meet the Platinum Miners from Zimbabwe for the first time in history on Wednesday at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
According to the club’s CEO Barbara Gonzalez, Simba have the edge because they have been active on the football scene for a longer period than their opponents, who suspended their leagues owing to the Covid-19 pandemic that affected many countries globally.
Gonzalez also pointed out another advantage to Simba is their rivals will be playing at a new ground, despite being the home team, saying this will help the Wekundu wa Msimbazi as they will not have their home supporters.
“This is an advantage for us,” Gonzalez said as quoted by Daily News. “They are not residing in Harare, their home city’s weather is as hot as Dar es Salaam.
“They are, therefore, acclimatising with the cold weather here in Harare like the same we do here.”
On Simba’s preparations since arriving in Harare for the match, Gonzalez said: “The entire squad comprising of 24 players and technical bench members plus other leaders of the club are all well looking forward to the game.
“We had a good reception made by our Tanzanian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Emmanuel Mbenna, Zimbabwean Football Federation, and Platinum officials.
“What we request at this juncture from our members and fans wherever they are, including all Tanzanians is to pray for their team, to win so that we can have an advantage while heading to the reverse game at home.
“When we win, it means the whole country has won, that is why we call upon all Tanzanians to give us full support.”
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi qualified for the next phase of the competition after securing a 1-0 aggregate win against Nigerian outfit Plateau United.
Simba won the first leg played in Abuja 1-0 courtesy of a Clatous Chama goal, and claimed a 0-0 draw in the return leg played at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
On the other hand, Platinum made it to the next round after a 4-1 aggregate win when they eliminated Costa De Sol of Mozambique, winning the first leg played in Maputo 2-1 before claiming a 2-0 win in the return leg.
Last season, Simba failed to make it past the preliminary stage after losing on the away goal rule to UD Songo of Mozambique.
The two sides had battled to a 0-0 draw in Mozambique, and in the return leg played in Dar es Salaam, it ultimately ended 1-1, meaning Songo advanced on the away goal rule.