DAR –ES-SALAAM –Tanzania’s Simba and title holders – Al Ahly of Egypt reached the 2020-21 Caf Champions’ League quarterfinals after emerging on top of Group A top positions.
Simba were a class above their visiting DR Congo opponent, AS Vita Club winning 4-1 in Dar es Salaam, while Al Ahly came from two goals down in dying minutes of the dame to force a 2-2 draw against Sudanese hosts El Merriekeh in Omdurman.
Simba raised their tally to 13 points and secured the group’s top spot, while Al Ahly managed eight in second place before they lock horns in Cairo next Friday. AS Vita follows on four points while Merriekh has two with a game at hand.
Simba dominated their game against AS Vita in Dar es Salaam, with a ‘Man of the Match’ performance from Luis Miquissone. The Mozambican broke the deadlock for the hosts at the half hour mark, but for Zemanga Soze to restore parity a couple of minutes later.
Clatous Chama made it 2-1 to the hosts just before halftime finishing a brilliant teamwork.
After the break, Simba continued to dominate, and added a third goal through Larry Bwalya on the 65-minute mark before Chama completed his brace six minutes to time.
In the other group game, holders Al Ahly were shocked in the opening half; but were lucky to make a come in the dying minutes.
El Merriekh took the lead after 26 minutes when skipper Ramadan Agab’s header from a long range free kick deceived Ahly’s goalkeeper and Captain Mohamed Elshennawy.
Ten minutes later it became 2-0, when Saifeddine Malik finished a swift counterattack with Ahly players left astonished.
It could have been 3-0 just before halftime when Malik was fouled inside the area by Badr Benoun. But Agab’s shot from the spot missed the target.
After the break, Al Ahly threw everything in attack as they tried to master a comeback. Yet it was the hosts who missed the chance to kill the game with Elshenawy stopping them in a couple of occasions.
Nine minutes from time, Ayman Asharf was fouled inside the area, and from the spot, Benoun made no mistake to half the deficit.
Deep into injury time, defender Yasser Ibrahim rose high to head home from Mohamed Magdy “Afsha” cross to secure Al Ahly a late point and guarantee they continue their title defense campaign.