(By Darious Kapembwa in Dar-es-Salaam)
SIMBA Sports Club coach Patrick Aussems said he is happy to qualify to the next round of the CAF Champions League at the expense of a “very good” Nkana side.
And Nkana coach Beston Chambeshi says he will now have to plan for the Confederation Cup.
On Sunday, Nkana lost 3-1 to Simba Sports Club of Tanzania to bow out of the continental competition 4-3 on aggregate after having won the first leg 2-1 in Kitwe last week.
This means Nkana will join compatriots Zesco United in the CAF Confederation cup.
Speaking after the match, Aussems said; “You saw two good teams wanting to play football. It was a good game by two good teams. I am happy to qualify because we played a very good team. You know Simba is on the rise and will be in the top five in the next five years,” said Aussems.
However, a disappointed Chambeshi said the Kenyan referee did not help matters after he allowed Simba to take a free kick while his players were still remonstrating which resulted in Simba’s winning goal.
“I am disappointed because we played well but missed a lot of chances. You saw that we had many chances like we did in Kitwe but failed to score. We were not very sharp on goal otherwise we could have finished them off. It’s sad because we played and conceded unnecessarily,” Chambeshi.
“You saw my players complaining, they saw something on the field of play that’s why they were complaining about the ref because if they didn’t see anything, there was no need for them to be complaining. You saw the way the third goal was scored. The ref was talking to the players but they start a free kick and score, he should have cancelled that goal for them to retake it. But the game is over we have to plan for the Confederation Cup.”
Nkana captain Walter Bwalya, who missed numerous scoring opportunities, gave his side hopes when he headed in the opening goal in the 16th minute.
Simba’s Jonas Mkude equalised in the 29th minute before Meddie Kagere added another in the 45th minute.
The Tanzanian side twice hit the cross bar in the second half while Bwalya had at least four chances to put his side in front but flopped much to the disappointment of his teammates.
With the game seemingly headed for penalties, Clatous Chama scored a cheeky flick on 90 minutes to send his side through to the group stage for the first time in over 15 years.
Meanwhile, ugly scenes characterised Nkana’s arrival as players were attacked by Simba supporters manning the entrance to the stadium.
Players fought running battles with gate minders with delegation leader FAZ committee member Lombe Mbalashi accosting the match commissioner and match assessors from CAF.
After Mbalashi, Nkana CEO Charles Chakatazya and Nkana executive committee member Brian Musonda protested to CAF representatives present, Simba officials finally called in police officers to take over manning the gates.
Nkana players were forced to change inside the stadium’s pathways after the dressing rooms emitted strange fumes that they feared could affect their performance.
Meanwhile, Green Buffaloes, Zambia’s envoys in the Confederation Cup, bowed out of the competition 4-3 on aggregate despite recording a 1-0 win over CS Sfaxien.
The draws for the group stage as well as the Confederation Cup pre-group stage will be made on December 28.