NAKURU, Kenya- The second day of the SportPesa Super Cup tournament on Monday produced as much drama as the first when Simba SC edged Kariobangi Sharks FC 3-2 on post-match penalties to book their place in the semis.
Simba became the first Tanzanian side to qualify for the last four where they will face Kenya’s Kakamega Homeboyz FC after bitter rivals Yanga SC and Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi of Zanzibar were knocked out on day one of the week-long tournament.
Sharks defender Michael Bodo was the first with an attempt to put his side a goal up with a volley that flew wide of the goal in the fifth minute.
The Vodacom Premier League Champions, Simba enjoyed most of the possession in the early exchanges of the half but lacked the finishing touch in the last third to rattle Sharks.
In the 14th, everyone at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru was certain Sharks would break the deadlock when Eric Kapaito was put through on goal by a killer pass but the striker fired in a tame effort that was easily gathered by Aishi Manula in the Simba goal.
Simba continued to dominate possession but did not threaten the Sharks goal and the Kenyans came close yet again in the 20th when Duke Abuya drilled in a cross into the 18-yard box which was met by a rising Kapaito but his header went inches wide of the post.
Kapaito, the live wire for the William Muluya’s side, continued to cause problems for the Wekundu wa Msimbazi (Msimbazi Reds) defence when he outfoxed two defenders but lost his footing at the last moment to relinquish possession two minutes later.
Ibrahim Mohamed had the first attempt on goal for Simba on the half hour mark but his long-range effort was aimed straight at John Oyemba.
A minute later, the Tanzanian champions launched yet another attack but the eventual shot by Mohamed went flying wide of the goal.
The pace of the game picked up as Sharks went on a counter attack that ended up with Kapaito missing the ball and the opportunity to put his side a goal up after a brilliant ball into the box by Abuya.
Simba made an early substitution in the 40th as Ally Shomari was replaced by Rashid Juma in what looked like a tactical switch by head coach Pierre Lechantre.
There was a significant stoppage when Shomari Kapombe went down in the 44th requiring attention from the medics but was the Simba man was up and running soon after.
The referee blew his whistle to bring the rather cagey first half to an end with the scores still 0-0.
The second half began with a bit more pace than the first ended and Sharks continued to threaten with a Kapaito header that went inches wide of the post in the 49th.
The forward was eventually put out of his misery when he was taken off 10 minutes later and was replaced by Sydney Lokale as Muluya sought a different option in attack.
The first yellow card of the game was shown to Haruna Niyonzima of Simba in the 60th for a reckless challenge on Bodo.
Sharks came close again in the 74th but Abuya failed to get a good touch on the ball and in the attempt to gather the ball, the on rushing Simba keeper Manula collided with his defender causing yet another lengthy pause in the match.
Yussuf Mlipili was then stretchered off the pitch in the 89th and replaced by Yasin Mzabiru as the fourth official signalled for a minimum of six minutes to be added on after the 90.
Lokale who came on in the second half was then taken off by Muluya in the fourth of extra time as the game looked set to be decided on penalties.
Pascal Oguk was first in line for Sharks and his effort rattled against the crossbar. Oyemba got a hand to Niyonzima’s penalty but it still managed to find the back of the net giving Simba a 1-0 lead.
Geoffrey Shiveka then doubled Simba’s advantage after a tame effort that was easily gathered by Munala.
Simba stand in Captain Hussein Mohammed then blasted his effort over to give the Kenyan side a route back to the contest with Eric Ngeno keeping their hopes alive.
But the Tanzanian champions restored their two-goal lead via Erasto Nyoni goal which was matched by a fantastic Harrison Mwendwa effort for Sharks.
Paul Bukaba then squandered the chance to seal the victory when his penalty sailed over crossbar but Sharks failed to capitalise on the let off when another weak penalty from their skipper, Eric Juma, gave Aishi the simple task of smothering the ball.
That left Jonas Mkude to win it for the 19-time Tanzanian league champions and he strode forward and majestically sent the ball into the top left corner.
It was the second successive tournament that Simba made the last four via the lottery from six yards after another barren draw against Kenya’s Tusker FC in Dar last year saw them prevail 4-2 on post-match penalties.
Another barren draw in the semis against AFC Leopards SC resulted in the Kenyan side advancing to the finals after winning on penalties by the same score line.
Kariobangi Sharks FC
John Oyemba 1, Eric Juma 5, Geoffrey Shiveka 6, Michael Bodo 4, Sven Yidah 18, Duke Abuya 10, Eric Kapaito 20, Harrison Nzivo 27, Francis Manoa 14, Fidel Origa 11, Pascal Oguk 3
Gad Matthews 16, Wycliffe Otieno 22, Paul Kamau 28, Christopher Kimathi 13, James Mazembe 21, Eric Ngeno 29, Brian Bwire 30, Sydney Lokale 19, Henry Juma 24
Aishi Manula 28, Ally Shomari 21, Mohammed Hussein 15, Paul Bukaba 28, Yusufu Mlipili 5, Erasto Nyoni 18, Jonas Mkude 20, Shomari Kapombe 12, Mohamed Rashid 33, Mohammed Ibrahim 4, Haruna Niyonzima 8
Ally Salim 31, Moses Kitandu 27, Rashid Juma 47, Marcel Kaheza 10, Shiza Kichuya 25, Muzamiru Yassin