The South African tactician explains why the game against Msimbazi giants in Tanzania was the toughest for the Red Devils this season
Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has revealed the most difficult game they have played so far in the Caf Champions League this season is the one against Simba SC in Tanzania.
The Red Devils reached the final of the competition for the second season in a row after defeating Esperance of Tunisia 4-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals, and they will now face South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs in the final on July 17 in Casablanca.
On Tuesday, the South African spoke to Al Ahly’s media team and when asked the toughest game he has faced so far, he picked the one against Simba at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, which they lost 1-0.
“I think the game against Simba in the group stage in Tanzania was the most difficult,” Mosimane said as quoted by the club’s official website.
“They opened the stadium to 50 thousand fans, which we cannot complain about it but we did not expect it, they faced us at 2:00 pm and the conditions were difficult. Look at the footage that you shot in Tanzania; it was not possible to train there.”
The game against the Msimbazi giants was the second for Al Ahly in the group stage and a well-taken goal from Mozambican winger Luis Miquissone was enough to hand them their first defeat in the competition this campaign.
On playing in Sudan, Mosimane said: “The same happened against Al Merrikh in Sudan, we did not even train before the game. We just played the rondos because the pitch was dry and in a very bad condition.”
On facing his former side, Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals, Mosimane said: “Also, we had a difficult game against Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa and we had to protect the 2-0 lead in the first leg.
“Thank God we scored early in the game which really helped us, but also we had a busy schedule in the league before facing Sundowns and we played the Cairo derby against Zamalek in mid-week.
“We played Simba, Sundowns, and Esperance to reach the final. It was not easy for us and we worked very hard to be where we are.”
Goals from Ali Maaloul, Mohamed Sherif, and Hussein El-Shahat saw the Egyptian giants defeat Esperance 4-0 on aggregate and booked a second consecutive final slot.
Al Ahly will be looking to win their 10th Champions League title against Amakhosi, who will be appearing in the final for the first time in the club’s history, having beaten the same Simba side 4-3 on aggregate in their quarter-final.