Red Arrows will be out to do the impossible on Sunday 05 December when they try to overturn a 3-0 aggregate score when they meet Simba in the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup playoff.
A 3-0 deficit in any continental competition is a mammoth task to overcome, and this is what Arrows must deal with.
Simba, who has grown to be a giant in African football, swept Arrows away last Saturday at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in a devastating manner.
Bernard Morrison ran the show in the rain in Tanzania and mesmerized his Zambian counterparts. He scored an excellent free-kick to open the scoring, pinning it in the bottom corner after beating the wall. He then set up Meddie Kagere for the second goal in sublime fashion – he beat three Arrows defenders inside the box with skill on his way to laying the ball for Kagere to tap in from close range.
Morrison then made it 3-0 with a solo goal; from a throw-in, he let the ball run past his chest and ran past the defence to slot in from a wide-angle. Arrows’ day got worse when Prosper Chiluya got a red card, meaning he won’t be available for the return leg.
Red Arrows should not be ashamed of the result in their away-game against Simba. The Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is one of the most difficult stadiums to visit; teams from Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Nigeria have also been victims of Simba at the intimidating ground.
On Sunday, Arrows will host Simba on Hero´s Stadium, one of the traditional Zambian football stadiums, and that should help Arrows as they seek redemption. The passionate Arrows fans from Lusaka will also have a huge role to play if Arrows are to make a comeback of some sort.
To go through to the next round, Arrows must make sure that they win by four goals on the day and not let Simba get any chance to score. This is a hard ask for Arrows, who have not been the most prolific in front of goal this season. This season, their home games average one goal per game, which won’t be enough to get around Simba’s three goals.
The next best thing for them is to play for pride; they have to give a performance that will make the fans proud. With the desire to avenge high, Arrows will play on the front foot and try to put Simba under pressure from the start of the match until the final whistle. If they want to impose themselves on the match and fight, they need to play with spirit and tactical execution.
This won’t be an easy game for the Arrows, as Simba are no pushovers. Both teams on Sunday should score; the most likely result should be a score draw, meaning Simba should progress comfortably.