In Summary
  • Team captain John Bocco struck twice to steer the Msimbazi Reds to the convincing win in the preliminary round, first leg tie at the National Stadium.

Mainland giants Simba marked their return to international football with a bang as they thrashed visiting Gendamarie of Djibouti 4-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup match yesterday.

Team captain John Bocco struck twice to steer the Msimbazi Reds to the convincing win in the preliminary round, first leg tie at the National Stadium.

Competing in international football for the first time in five years, Simba enjoyed the lion’s share of the match. They scored two more goals through Said Ndemla and Emmanuel Okwi.

“If you analyse the game, we created many chances. My players were fantastic,” Simba assistant coach Masoud Djuma said in his post-match interview.

“We have done a fantastic job. It’s important for the belief of the team and confidence,” he added.

But Djuma, whose team has not lost a match in the Mainland Premier League, promised there would be no let-up ahead of a potentially tricky return leg match in Djibouti in ten days’ time.

“When you have success, it is easy to sit back and complacency sits next to you. It is important we keep doing those things that allow you to win,” explained the Burundian.

Bocco, who was like a thorn in the flesh for the Djibouti team defenders, said they would train even harder ahead of the return leg game.

Cheered by hundreds of fans at the 60,000-setaer venue, Simba made a bright start and scored their first goal a few seconds into the first minute through Ndemla, whose superb free kick left goalkeeper Bilal Ahmed diving in vain.

They ought to have doubled their lead two minutes later when Shomari Kapombe latched onto a Jonas Mkude on the edge of the penalty box, but his header was cleared by Gendamarie defender Moustapha Moussa. The hosts made it 2-0 in the 31st minute through Bocco, who capitalized on defensive lapses tom beat the visitors’ goalkeeper.

The gifted striker came into the picture again in the 45th minute for a 3-0 first half lead.

Referee Alier Michael James from South Sudan awarded Gendamarie a penalty in the 50th after striker Souhaib Ismil was ,, but Simba goalkeeper, Aishi Manula saved Houssein Migameh shot.