The French tactician maintains they will be pushed by their ambitious approach to do well against Amakhosi in the last eight
Simba SC coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa has stated their target to reach the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League will spur them on when they face Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals.
On Friday, the Msimbazi giants were drawn to face the Premier Soccer League giants Amakhosi in the last eight of the competition, with the Tanzanian champions set to play the first leg away on May 14 or 15 before they host the second leg on May 21 or 22.
The French tactician has explained he has a lot of respect for their South African opponents but stated their intention to go far in the competition will push them to do well against them.
“All the teams in the competition are strong and we have a lot of respect for Kaizer Chiefs but because we are very ambitious and we also want to reach far in this competition, we are ready to play very well against [Chiefs] and reach our target,” Da Rosa told Simba Online TV a few hours after the draw that was held in Cairo, Egypt.
“It is going to be a very tough match but we have the time to prepare well as our target is to go as far as we can but firstly, we have to focus on the quarter-final clash and we know it will not be easy, but with our plans and mission and targets we set earlier, we are ready to go far in this competition.”
Simba had an impressive run in the group stage and topped a tough pool that included African champions Al Ahly, AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Al Merrikh of Sudan.
They finished the group engagements with four wins, one defeat, and a draw and topped the pool with 13 points, two more than the reigning champions, the Red Devils.
Simba will hope to maintain the solidity they showed in the group stage, where they only conceded two goals and kept four clean sheets as goalkeepers Aishi Manula and Beno Kakolanya were used between the sticks.
Mozambique winger Luis Miquissone – who scored a clinical goal against Al Ahly in matchday three to earn Simba a surprise 1-0 win – is expected to be the club’s creative brain during the knockout stage.
Clatous Chama – who made it into the team of the week after his exploits in the 4-1 win against AS Vita in Dar es Salaam – is another star upon whom coach Da Rosa will peg much hope.
Kenya defender Joash Onyango and Ivorian Pascal Wawa were solid at the back and they contributed immensely to the record that saw the upstarts concede the fewest number of goals in the group.
Meanwhile, Amakhosi made it through to the knockout stage after finishing second in Group C where they faced Wydad AC, Horoya AC, Petro Atletico and managed nine points after picking up two wins, three draws, and a loss.
In the other pairings, Al Ahly will face Mamelodi Sundowns, MC Alger will meet Wydad Casablanca, while CR Belouizdad of Algeria will square off against Tunisian giants Esperance.