South African giants Orlando Pirates have been warned on what to expect when they come face to face with Simba SC of Tanzania in the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup.
The two teams were drawn to face each other on Tuesday and the first meeting will see the Buccaneers travel to Dar es Salaam on April 17 for the clash at Mkapa Stadium before the return leg on April 24 in Johannesburg.
Ahead of the two-legged fixture, former Simba and Tanzania international Abdi Banda, who currently turns out for Mtibwa Sugar in the Mainland Premier League, has cautioned Pirates to be wary of Simba’s tactics when playing at home, including paying referees to favour their results.
‘Simba vs Pirates will go beyond football’
“When Pirates come to Dar es Salaam, they must expect the worst and know that the battle will be beyond football because Simba is supported by politicians,” Banda said as quoted by KickOff.
“Simba will have the referee in their pocket because Simba will give the referee money. Simba always uses dirty tactics when they play at home, but they obviously don’t have the kind of quality that Pirates so they will budget on winning at home by a wide margin.”
However, the 26-year-old Banda, who has earned 18 caps for the Tanzania national team, is confident Pirates will qualify for the semis at the expense of the Wekundu wa Msimbazi.
“What I know is that Pirates is going to qualify for the semi-finals after the two legs. It would have been a risk if Pirates played in Johannesburg first,” Banda continued.
“Pirates must make use of Senzo [Mazingiza] for the trip to Tanzania because he knows Tanzania very well and used to be at Simba before and is now at Yanga. Yanga will be happy to assist Pirates in whatever they need because they are enemies with Simba.”
Banda has also called on Pirates to devise ways of dealing with Simba’s “most dangerous” player Bernard Morrison, who also played for the Buccaneers in the Premier Soccer League.
‘Morrison will want to revenge against Pirates’
"Morrison is a guy that will be out to prove a point to Pirates considering what happened in the past. I think Morrison had some misunderstandings with Pirates before so I know he will be out to show them what he can do,” added Banda.
“He has that kind of mentality of always wanting to prove himself to those that doubt him, and he usually gets the job done.
“The other threat for Simba is Sakho [Pape Ousmane] otherwise they don’t have a good team like they did last season, and it shows in the gap between them and Yanga who are top of the standings.
“When they played Chiefs last season they had a better team.”
Simba qualified for the last eight after finishing second in Group D with 10 points from six matches while Pirates finished top of Group A with 13 points from six outings.