Bullets face Familiar opponents in Caf Champions League Preliminary Round

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The Super League leaders, Nyasa Big Bullets will face the familiar opponents in the Preliminary Round of the Caf Champions League after being paired with Tanzania giants, Simba Sports Club.

The draw for the 2022-23 TotalEnergies Caf Interclub competitions was held on Tuesday, August 9, 2023 at Caf Headquarters in Cair, Egypt.

The People’s fans has described the draw as fair saying they are aware of Simba SC.

However, the fans have cushioned their team to have a thorough preparations ahead of the fiercely contested game.

“Simba are a good side. We need to prepare very well,” said Chancy Namwera.

Charles Zatuwa Kamanga said, “since we have known our opponents, we are good to go. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This is the right time to analyse their strengths and weaknesses. Simba is just the name, they play 11 and we will feature 11 players too.”

Bullets Chief Administrative Officer Albert Chigoga said they belive that they have the squad that can play in the competition.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s men have been outstanding in domestic competitions in the past 4years having won three League titles in a row, Charity Shields, Airtel Top 8 Trophy but they have failed to transform that performance into continental football.

The People’s team will strt the competition with a home fixture in September before a second leg in 7 days later.

Nyasa Big Bullets have a record of 7 appearances in the Caf Champions League and they have been booted out of the competition three times in a row.

Returning to the continental showpiece after 11 years of absence, in 2015, Nyasa Big Bullets played Comoros Island’s giants, Fomboni FC and they beat them to reach the second round of the Preliminary stage before suffering a 5-1 defeat to Al Hilal of Sudan.

Bullets were also booted out of the competition by Kenyan Giants, Gor Mahia, Zimbabwe’s giants Platnum FC before suffering another setback against Amazulu FC in their next participation.

Bullets best success in the competition dated back to 2004 when they reached as far as the quarterfinals when they were being sponsored by former president Bakili Muluzi.

The star studded squad then lead by Captain Peter Mponda managed memorable victories against top teams like Zanco of Zambia and Orlando Pirates of South Africa.

Simba SC and Performance in Caf Champions League

The Lions of Tanzania was founded in 1936, after breaking away from another Tanzania Giants, Dar Young Africans was named Queens, in honor of her Majesty, the Queen of England.

The Club had several name changes from Queens to Eagles, then, Sunderland. In 1971 they were renamed Simba (Swahili for “Lion”).

Simba SC have won 21 league titles and five domestic cups, and have participated in the CAF Champions League q1 times.

They are also one of the biggest clubs in East Africa, having won the CECAFA Club Championship six times.

The highest continental success that Simba achieved reaching the final of the CAF Cup in 1993, when they lost to Stella Club of Côte d’Ivoire.

It was the highest continental achievement by a Tanzanian team to date. In 2003 Simba beat the then-reigning champions Zamalek of Egypt in the CAF Champions League second round of qualifiers to qualify to the group stages, after having beat Santos of South Africa in the first round.

Last year, Simba reached the second round of qualifiers but they were dropped to the Confederation Cup where they reached up to quarterfinals and they were booted out by South African giants, Orlando Pirates on penalties after a 1-all draw in both legs.

The recent meeting between the two sides was in 2018 when the game ended in goalless draw but it was a friendly game.

Bullets participated in the Cecafa tournament last year and they faced two Tanzanian teams, Young African and Azam FC but the two teams failed to register a victory over the People’s team.

The winner will face the winner between Premeiro de Augosto and Red Arrows of Zambia.

In other games, Ahly, who have been performing poorly in Egypt since Portuguese Ricardo Soares replaced South African Pitso Mosimane as coach recently, will face APR of Rwanda or US Monastir of Tunisia in a last-32 tie.

Debutants Monastir should overcome APR, but a lack of experience could prove their undoing against the battle hardened African campaigners of Ahly.

Six clubs were given byes into the last-32 round and, among them, 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa received what appears to be the easiest task of reaching the group stage.

Sundowns, a Pretoria-based club owned by Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe, await the winners between Volcan of the Comoros and La Passe of the Seychelles.

Neither Volcan, in two attempts, nor Passe, in four efforts, have progressed beyond the initial round and whoever does succeed is likely to come off second best against expensively assembled Sundowns. Preliminary fixtures will be played on the weekends of September 9-11 and 16-18 and last-32 fixtures are scheduled for the weekends of October 7-9 and 14-16.

Cape Town City have discovered their opponents for the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.

The Citizens will be competing in the Champions League for the first time in their history after securing a second-place finish in the 2021/2022 DStv Premiership season.

The Mother City outfit have now been drawn against Congolese outfit AS Otoho in the preliminary round.

Should Eric Tinkler’s charges overcome the Congolese side over two legs, they will face the winners of the preliminary round tie between Associacao Black Bulls and Angolan side Atlético Petróleos de Luanda.

CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FULL DRAW

-River United vs Watanga
-ASO Stade Mandji vs Plateau United
-ASN Nigelec vs SOAR
-APR FC vs US Monastir
-Bangui vs Vipers SC
-Volcan Club vs LA Passe FC
-Coton Sport vs ASEC Mimosa
-Hawks vs Horoya
-ASKO KARA vs FC Nouadhibou
-Casamance SC vs JS Kabylie
-Mongo vs Djoliba
-BO Rangers vs CR Belouzdad
-Zalan FC vs Young Africa
-St. Georges vs Al Hilal
-AS Arta Solar7 vs Al Merrikh
-KMKM vs Al Ahly Tripoli
-Flambeau vs Al Ittihad
-Elect Sport vs Zamalek
-Cape Town vs AS Otoho
-Black Bulls vs Petroléos
-Red Arrows vs De Agosto
-Big Bullets vs Simba SC
-CFFA vs Leopard FC
-Matlama vs Coton Sport
-RC Kadiogo vs Asante Kotoko
-Gaborone United vs AS Vita Club

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