Tanzanian giants Simba SC moved a step closer to the quarter finals of the Total CAF Champions League after beating Sudan’s El Merrikh 3-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.
First half goals from Luis Miquissone and skipper Mohammed Hussein coupled with a second half strike from Chris Mugalu handed the home side three vital points and a ninth consecutive unbeaten match on home soil in the continental competition.
The result sees Simba remain top of Group A with 10 points, three ahead of second placed Al Ahly who beat AS Vita via the same margin in Kinshasa, in a match played concurrently.
Wekundu wa Msimbazi now need just a point from the remaining two group games to confirm their place in the last eight.
The home side went to the break two goals up, Miquissone and Hussein netting for the home side. Simba broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Miquissone prodded the ball home inside the six yard box after being played through by Clatous Chama.
Mereikh almost responded immediately, but Simba’s Kenyan defender Joash Onyango made a brilliant tackle to block Darren Mattocks’ shot as he went for goal at the edge of the six yard box.
Simba dominated proceedings and were kings of possession as they chose to dictate the tempo of the game.
They had a great opportunity on the half hour mark when Bernard Morrison curved in a beautiful ball inside the box, but Mugalu’s connection went over unmarked at the backpost.
They were however 2-0 up with six minutes left to the break when skipper Hussein scored with a low effort after his run on the left was picked out by another of Morrison’s beautiful passes, the defense found off their guard.
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It took them just five minutes into the second half to stretch their lead to three when Miquissone turned from scorer to provider, doing well on the left to float in a cross. Mugalu calmly controlled on his chest before firing a shot on the half volley into the bottom right corner.
Simba were content and now just needed to manage the tempo of the game. Merrikh were now merely fighting for pride and they had chances to score. Saifeldin Bakhit had a chance in the 70th minute when he cut inside from the right but his shot was over.
In the 81st minute, Mattocks forced a save off Aishi Manula with a shot from the right while minutes later, Bakhit had a chance with a tap in from Panga Bambara’s cross but he miscued his effort.