How Simba can qualify at expense of Wydad Casablanca in CAF Champions League

Simba Sporting Club travel to Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca to face Wydad Athletic Club in the CAF Champions League quarter finals second leg.

The Tanzanian side hold a first leg advantage after beating the Moroccan side 1-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania a week ago. Jean Othos was the man who got the only goal of the game as the Reds ended the first leg in high confidence.

They face the mantle of defending champions WAC on Friday evening with he Tanzanian side having their destiny in their own hands.

Cruhsing out WAC to reach semifinals with a clash against Mamelodi Sundowns or CR Belouizdad is likely difficult but not impossible only if Simba can do three things.

Slow tempo of the game

For Simba to qualify at anticipated packed Mohamed V Stadium on Friday evening, they have to slow the tempo of the game throughout while maintaining great awareness in this approach. WAC will undoubtedly respond the first leg defeat with early pressure in Morocco. WAC’s approach will fragile Simba if the Tanzanian side failed to rely on the right counter-approach.

They need not to play in WAC’s high intensity tonation but should slow the game throughout. Slowing the game will slow WAC’s chances of scoring while enjoying the game in reverse.

Teams who have played well against Wydad Athletic Club at Mohamed V have manufactured good results though is quite unsual against strong WAC at home.

Be aware of and deal with aerial balls

Having slow the tempo that is more likely to delay WAC goals and distract them, Simba should also develop high awareness for WAC aerial balls and deal with them. In order for them to score more goals at home in African inter club football, WAC have usually opted against possessive football on one hand and rely on direct long balls into the opponent box especially from final third wide areas on the other hand.

This is the same approach WAC will use against Simba this evening which the Tanzanian side must deal with. They will have the men in the box waiting for the crosses to be launched to score from direct headers or rebound. By this, most opponents will have their players waiting in the middle of the pitch to stop WAC but the ball will be played directly from WAC’ back into the box at the receiving end or the ball into wide areas at the final third (opponents’ 2 and 3 defending areas) for crosses to be sent into the box.

In these two scenarios, opponents’ wall in the middle usually don’t count against WAC while they also equal or short men defending in the box againt the Moroccan side since they have throw most of their players into midfield where they know WAC will attack from.

Simba have to adopt a full back system with at least 3 tall central defenders who are super in the air and also have their midfield draw closer to Simba’s back than to build a wall in the middle or to push ahead.

Their midfield line forming a wall closer to their box will prevent WAC from operating in between and save the Tanzanians from potential rebound goals. Most of their concentration should be on WAC’s long ball into their box from the back and crosses into their yard from their number 2 and 3 covered areas.

Once their thinking goes into this direction which is true Simba will stretch WAC to a level that will only be determined by player quality and not a situation of tactical compromisation that could lead being thrashed in Casablanca.

WAC can score from penalty, through balls, mistake at central area, corner kick, free kick and opening play like a curler behind the nox. But most of their goals in the CAF Champions League have come from the trend talked above.

Rely on counter-attack throughout

Simba have to be good on the ball to waste most of the time. Keeping possession in relaxed matter will be good which means WAC will not have the ball to attack them saving them most times WAC will trouble them.

But for their attacks it should be counter that will give them the numerical advantage in final third.

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