Caf Champions League: Simba SC missed energy and dynamic passes vs Al Merrikh – Da Rosa |

The French tactician explains difficulties to break down the Red Devils in Khartoum and says they will win their home matches

Simba SC coach Didier Gomez Da Rosa has stated his team lacked the energy to push and beat Al Merrikh in the Caf Champions League fixture played on Saturday.

The Msimbazi giants went into the match seeking a third straight win in Group A but the Sudanese outfit held on to secure a 0-0 draw, which gave them their first point of the campaign.

While the point ensured Simba maintained top spot in the group with seven points, coach Gomez has insisted the team was not strong enough to challenge their opponents and that their usual passing style was lacking, but nevertheless welcomed the point which increased their chances of making it from the group stage.

“To be honest, we did not develop our usual way of playing, we were a little bit not disappointing but we missed the energy, we missed dynamic passes, we played on a slow tempo so sometimes it happens but don’t forget that we were playing away,” Gomez told reporters as reported by Simba Online.

“For sure we are ambitious we came here to try to win but like I said before the game, the last result between Al Merrikh and AS Vita Club didn’t reflect the match, okay I even told Merrikh coach about that.

“Merrikh could have won the match against AS Vita, so needed to prepare well for the match, very seriously and we cannot underrate them [Merrikh], and for sure I was right because we have some problems to find offensive solution, to find depth and I think we could do better but you know we have seven points today [Saturday] and it is a good result for us.”

On what to expect when the two sides face off in Tanzania, Gomez explained: “For the next match against Al Merrikh you know very well that at home we are very good, we can put the fire on the ground but we have to prepare very seriously for the match because the three next points could put us in the quarter-finals.

“Al Merrikh, so, believe me, I cannot underrate this team, this kind of players, I know very well their mentality, you know I spent the two first rounds of Champions League with them and I know that they are able to be very committed.

“And as their coach says, he has many players who didn’t play the match today, I know their mentality and I was very happy to see my former players because it was a very good time with them before I left.”

Against Al Merrikh, Simba started the game well aiming at getting an early goal, and in the seventh minute, they managed to get an opportunity when the Sudanese outfit conceded a free-kick in a promising position but midfielder Clatous Chama failed to capitalise on it.

In the 19th minute, the Red Devils had a good chance to score when a ball was floated in from the right, but Darren Mattocks failed to connect with it. 

Another chance went begging for the hosts in the 25th minute, this time around, Tajeldin Elnour missed the target as his header failed to trouble Beno Kakolanya, who was deputising for Aishi Manula in the Simba goal.

After the game, the Sudanese side confirmed they had fired their head coach Nasreddine Nabi alongside his assistants Hamadi Sagheer and El Dao Gadamelkhair.

The East Africans are now on seven points after three matches after they kicked off their campaign with 1-0 wins over AS Vita Club away in Kinshasa and Al Ahly of Egypt in Dar es Salaam.

The two teams will meet in the reverse fixture on March 16 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania.

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