Despite the East African powerhouse SC Simba’s elimination from the inaugural African Football League (AFL) by record CAF champions league winners Al Ahly on Tuesday afternoon, Manager Oliviera Roberto Goncalvez was satisfied with his team’s performance.
Simba fought out of their skins and managed a 1-1 scoreline on the night, an addition to the 2-2 draw played at the opening ceremony at the sold out Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium of Dar es Salaam.
The Simba players were largely outclassed throughout the game but took the lead against the run of play in the 69th minute—courtesy from industrious midfielder, Sadio Kanoute; his second strike of the competition.
However, the reality of the game caught up with Simba as their lackluster performance was exposed on the break when Ahly exchanged quick passes around the Simba penalty area before Ali Maáloul cut back a low cross into Simba’s nemesis, Mahmoud Kahraba whose side foot finish took a deflection on its way in.
The draw was enough to secure a historic place for Al Ahly and dump out Simba out of the inaugral competition.
Simba will be sombering about the elimination but will come to terms with it since they were not at their uttermost best;one they showcased over the weekend. The East African giants were second best throughout the game and struggled to find their rhythm and create clear cut goalscoring opportunities.
However Manager of the side, Roberto Oliviera Gonçalvez do Carmo was pleased with his side’s performance despite the elimination.
“We played well, we scored before our opponents and congratulations to my players, because it’s not easy playing outside. We played well, we scored one goal and then, we built with this goal. But most importantly, we need others there…football you have 90 minutes… congratulations to my opponents before they qualify.”
The remaining clubs will be vying for a spot in the semi finals with the host of the quarter-finals fixtures scheduled for October 26.
Story by: Andrews Sefa Bamfo | universnews.ug.edu.gh