The Tanzanian champions needed just a point against the Black Dolphins to confirm their place in the knockout stage of the competition
Simba SC booked a place in the Caf Champions League quarter-final phase after an emphatic 4-1 win against AS Vita at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Saturday.
Luis Miquissone, Clatous Chama, and Larry Bwalya scored for Wekundu wa Msimbazi as AS Vita found the back of the net with Zemanga Soze’s effort. It was the first time Simba conceded the first goal in Group A.
Fiston Mayele could have opened the scoring for the Kinshasa club in the 12th minute but his header hit Aishi Manula, who went down just enough to block the striker after Joash Onyango was beaten at the edge of the box.
Chris Mugalu, who scored from the spot when the two teams met in the group’s first game, headed over the bar after he received a cross from Miquissone.
Shomari Kapombe did well to find some space before he placed the ball onto Miquissone’s path and the Mozambican was able to produce a cross high enough for Mugalu to head home in the 15th minute.
Another chance for Simba came in the 17th minute when Miquisonne and Mugalu found themselves inside AS Vita’s area but the former’s effort hit the side net.
Miquissone, who scored a brilliant goal against Al Ahly that was later voted as the goal of the week, tried a similar trick in the 21st minute but Ousmane Ouattara read him well and stole the ball as the forward was about to pull the trigger.
Ducapel Moloko found a way past Shomari Kapombe on the right-wing, cut in slightly and aimed for the top corner, but Manula denied him an opener with a finger-tip save in the 26th minute.
Miquissone was again denied enough space to shoot from after he manoeuvred past a number of markers before Michael Mbabu eventually blocked him for a corner.
The corner was well utilised by Simba as Bernard Morrison latched onto Chama’s short corner and laid a low cross for Miquissone, who smashed past Simon Omossola at the half-hour mark.
The goal is the third straight for the former UD Songo star in the group stage as he also scored against Al Merrikh and Al Ahly.
Barey had Miquissone finished celebrating his third goal than AS Vita responded with an equaliser. Merveille Wamba and Soze combined well in the build-up before the former launched a fierce strike that hit the post before rolling into the net in the 31st minute.
Simba retook the lead in the second minute of the first half added time through Chama. A diagonal pass from Pascal Wawa found Morrison, who was unable to strike but squared the ball for Chama who moved the ball from his right foot to the left one and scored his first group stage goal.
Morrison and Ouattara were yellow carded in the 50th minute as an argument ensued between the pair after tussling for a ball down the left-wing. The Simba star will miss the next game against Al Ahly due to the booking.
Simba broke through in the 57th minute but Mugalu’s effort slid out slightly wide of the goal. The striker had missed a number of chances that would have potentially sealed the game in favour of Wekundu wa Msimbazi before the hour mark. He was subsequently replaced a minute later by Meddie Kagere.
Papy Tshishimbi – a former Yanga SC captain – came on for Amede Asasi in the 64th minute in an attempt to end Simba’s midfield dominance. However, AS Vita went further behind in the 66th minute when Bwalya struck the third goal for the Msimbazi giants.
Chama, who has been a regular star for the Msimbazi side, was heavily involved in the build-up to the third goal as he held on to the ball before releasing it for Bwalya to strike from outside the box.
Chama failed to make it 4-1 in the 70th minute when Kagere spotted him inside the box but the Zambian sent his effort wide in an isolated AS Vita penalty box.
Chama added the fourth goal for Simba in emphatic style as he slotted past Omossola after three defenders from the AS Vita side were unable to stop him from capitalising on a pinpoint cross from Morrison. He was, however, withdrawn in the 87th minute as Hassan Dilunga came on.
Miquissone, another star of the evening for the Tanzanian champions, was replaced by Kenya international Francis Kahata in the 88th minute.
The Tanzanian champions, who needed just a point to progress, could not get more goals despite a number of chances after scoring the fourth and also in the additional minutes.
Nevertheless, the convincing win secured their place in the last eight for the first time in their history.
In the group’s other game, defending champions Al Ahly came from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw away to Al-Merreikh.
Simba SC XI: Aishi Manula, Shomari Kapombe, Mohamed Hussein, Joash Onyango, Pascal Wawa, Taddeo Lwanga, Bernard Morrison, Jonas Mkude, Chris Mugalu, Clatous Chama, Luis Miquissone.
AS Vita XI: Simon Omossola, Ebunga Simbi, Jacques Mangoba Iyadi, Ousmane Ouattara, Michael Mbambu, Merveille Kikasa Wamba, Amede Masasi, Glody Makabi Lilepo, Ducapel Moloko, Zemanga Soze, Fiston Kalala Mayele.
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