Vipers Left Reeling After Simba Defeat

Saturday, February 25
*Vipers (Uganda) 0-1 Simba (Tanzania)
*Raja Casablanca(Morocco) 2-0 Horoya (Guinea)

Group C Table

  1. Raja Casablanca πŸ‡²πŸ‡¦ 9pts
  2. Horoya πŸ‡¬πŸ‡³ – 4
  3. Simba πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ώ – 3
  4. Vipers πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¬ – 1

Vipers suffered a 1-0 defeat against Simba SC in a CAF Champions League encounter played under Floodlights at St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende.

Defender Henock Ikonga Baka scored the only goal of the game as former Vipers coach Roberto Oliveira made a winning return.

The goal came in the 21st minute when Moses Phiri headed at the far post for Henock to bundle in from close range.

Vipers who lost captain Milton Karisa to injury before the break, had some good opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the net.

Yunus Sentamu fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy and when he later turned provider, Lumala Abdu couldn’t find the target.

It’s the latest low for Vipers who are yet to score a single goal under new coach Beto Bianchi in his six-game tenure so far.

Vipers Blunt Again

Vipers will rue missed opportunities once again especially in the first half.

Lumala who started on the left side of the attack, fluttered to deceive throughout the contest before he was taken off for Martin Kizza.

Earlier, the ‘Electric winger’ who missed the draw against Wakiso Giants, shot over when he was picked by Yunus Sentamu inside the area.

Yunus had probably the best chance of the game, he was well spaced and had all the time when he collected from Karisa, only to send his effort over the bar.

The Venoms will feel they could have got a penalty when the Simba goalkeeper spilled Karisa’s effort before hurtling into Yunus, but the appeals fell on deaf ears.

And in the second stanza, with the addition of Ibrahim Orit, Desire Tety, Najib Yiga, Kizza and Serge Mwenge, Vipers struggled to penetrate through Simba’s wall.

And for a seventh straight game, Vipers failed to find a goal!

Faint Knockout Hopes Dented

Reaching the knockout was always going to be a big ask for Vipers given it’s their first time to play at this stage.

But after the draw was made, Vipers fancied their chances to give it a try after they were pitted in a fair group on paper.

If you are to compare with the rest of the groups, say Group A, they have defending champions Wydad, Algerian side Kabylie, Petro De Luanda of Angola and DR Congo’s AS Vita.

Group B has two giants Sundowns and Al Ahly while Group D has four Arab teams!

This was a favourable group for Vipers. But halfway the campaign, the Venoms have just a point to show.

They visit Simba on March 8, host Raja on March 18 before ending with a trip to face Horoya on March 31 – Dates may slightly be changed.

Robertinho Breathes Again

Simba bagged all points at Kitende

Prior to Saturday’s encounter, reports from Tanzania indicated that Simba were contemplating on sacking Roberto Oliveira.

The Club drew 1-1 with Azam in the league and had lost the two opening games in CAF Champions League.

It was said that the gaffer was given the two games against Vipers (home and away) to make amends.

It proved to be a stern test for Robertinho who was facing a side he helped qualify to this stage.

But when Henock scored at Kitende, Robertinho excitedly joined in the celebration and pulled some dance moves.

His side held on to pick all the points, giving the gaffer some breathing space.

This was not Simba at their best, but their travelling fans will not care since it’s three points bagged.

Dangerman Clatous Chota Chama looked a shadow of himself and failed to trouble Vipers defence that had no injured Murushid Juuko and suspended Isa Mubiru.

But they had some good chances and on any day, Simba could have won by a better margin.

Vipers defender Hilary Mukundane almost gifted them a goal when he lost possession in his own half but Moses Phiri failed to punish, sending his attempt wide.

Saudi Ntibazonkiza shot direct at the keeper while Chama, after beating Ashraf Mandela from the counter, failed to find the right gears.

Simba who reached the Quarterfinals last year, will hope to complete a double they welcome Vipers at the National Stadium.

During his unveiling last month, Robertinho dreamed big, saying that he wants to help Simba win the CAF Champions League title.

It’s an early call, but after Saturday’s win, Simba have revived their chances of reaching the knockout at least.

Players Used

Vipers – Alfred Mudekereza, Ashraf Mandela, Dissan Galiwango, Livingston Mulondo, Hilary Mukundane, Siraje Sentamu, Karim Watambala, Bright Anukani, Milton Karisa, Yunus Sentamu, Lumala Abdu

Simba – Aishi Salum Manula, Shomari Salum, Sadio Kanoute, Mohammed Hussein, Joash Onyango, Clatous Chama, Mzamiru Yasin, Moses Phiri, Henock Inonga, Denis Kibu, Saidi Ntibazonkiza



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *