The former right-back urges the Msimbazi giants to stay focused and believe they can overturn their 4-0 loss against Amakhosi
Simba SC have been challenged to replicate the result recorded by the club’s 1979 squad when everyone had thought they had been eliminated from the Caf Champions League.
The Msimbazi giants are facing a tall order of overturning a 4-0 defeat suffered at FNB Stadium by Amakhosi in the first leg quarter-final clash last Saturday.
The defeat by the Soweto giants left several pundits writing off Simba’s chances of reaching the semi-finals but not Daud Salum, who played for the club in the 1979 season when they knocked out Zambia’s side Mufulira Wanderers 5-4 on aggregate.
Salum, who was the team’s right-back at the time, has remained confident the team can turn the tables as they did during the match which they lost 4-0 at home against the Zambian side in the first leg, but then won the return leg in Lusaka, Zambia, 5-0.
“Indeed, after the drubbing, Simba had been subjected to by the Zambians on that day 42 years ago, all Tanzanians including Simba fans had written off their team but we went on to win away,” Salum said as quoted by Daily News.
“It is hard to believe Simba can turn the tables on Saturday but in football everything is possible, players then played with the passion for their team, we fought for the team because many of us were members of the club and the heavy defeat we succumbed at home was painful to us.
“I remember the late Joel Mbendera, who was then Taifa Stars coach, was momentarily hired by Simba and he used to psychologically build us in readiness for the match. He first told us if they managed to 4-0 away, we can also get the same number of goals at their home.
“Every player knew his responsibilities; we were fully prepared and left to Zambia for the return match, while we were there, people said we would lose 10-0, we were desperate but inside our hearts, everybody knew what we had to do.
“In reality, we were well prepared, we respected our job. We carried hearts of Tanzanians and this is what should be done by the current Simba players.”
Salum remembered vividly that before their match against Wanderers, three major events took place and the guest of honour was then Zambia President Kenneth Kaunda.
“I remember the first event was the football match between Members of Parliament versus ministers and the other event was boxing between Zambian boxer [name forgotten] against his counterpart from outside Zambia,” Salum continued.
“All these two events were done before our match and the stadium was full to capacity. “In the 3rd minute of the game, we scored a goal and afterward, we scored another goal and by halftime, we were leading with three goals.
“At the interval, coach Bendera told us it was possible to get two more goals, we should work hard. Indeed, we worked hard and got the fourth goal which made them nervous hence they conceded the fifth goal in the process, something which was unbelievable.
“We then qualified to the next round.”
Salum is confident the current Simba squad has quality players who can do the job by insisting: “Even the current Simba team has got the quality players; it’s just a matter of preparing well. I believe they can do wonders but it is not that easy.
“They must fight hard and decide whether to excel or not, they should think about pains which Simba fans and members are going through after their recent defeat.
“They need to be hopeful if their colleagues succeed at their home, they can also achieve at their own turf because another loss will damage their good work.”
The return leg will be played on May 22 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.