Sevilla break Simba hearts
Sevilla came from behind four times to beat Tanzania champions Simba SC 5-4 at the National Stadium, Dar es Salaam in a lively LaLiga World Challenge powered by SportPesa.
The five-time Uefa Europa League winners struck deep in stoppage time through Nolito to spoil the party for the vocal Simba fans inside a raucous 60,000-seater Tanzania stadium.
Dutch forward Quincy Promese had struck twice in succession to haul Sevilla level after Simba SC had taken a 4-2 lead over their visitors via two John Bocco goals and one each by former Gor Mahia striker Meddie Kagere and Clatous Chama.
Simba raced to a two-goal lead inside the first 16 minutes, but Sergio Escudero reduced arrears in the 20th minute to light up the encounter.
Clatous Chama had a chance to draw first blood in the second minute, but his attempt came off a forest of legs.
Quincy Promese blasted over the bar a good chance with Franco Vasquez dragging wide another gilt-edged chance shortly after.
Simba took the lead in the eighth minute with a neat finish by Tanzania striker John Bocco after nice work by Meddie Kagere who shimmied through Sevilla left-back Sergio Escudero to expertly find Bocco with a low cut back.
Simba SC played the opening quarter an hour with the guile that saw them reach the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League.
And the confidence paid off handsomely in the 16th minute as Meddie Kagere rounded goalkeeper Juan Soriano for second after the Sevilla defence was caught napping.
Sergio Escudero reduced areas with a snapshot inside the box after Simba SC defenders failed to mop up a Sevilla corner.
It was a matter of failing to heed Sevilla's warning after the goalkeeper had thwarted an attack initiated by France's recalled striker Wissam Ben-Yedder.
Kagere then had a chance to test Juan Soriano in goal with a rasping shot which the Spanish goal minder comfortably dealt with.
Sevilla appeared in control from there, but a lightning counter-attack in the 30th minute left the five-time Uefa Europa League winners bloodied as Bocco drilled in Simba's following Kagere's good lay-off.
Simba goalkeeper Aishi Manula was alert to danger as Ben-Yedder Picked out Nolito with an over the top pass in the 40th minute. Sevilla cranked up the pressure and nearly punished their hosts for slack defending.
But it was the hosts who could have easily extended their lead on the stroke of half-time. Confusion between goalkeeper Soriano and defender Simon Kjaer under pressure from Kagere saw the Dane almost put the ball into his own net.
Sevilla struck in the 49th minute when the impressive youngster Bryan Gil crossed for Nolito to side-foot home their second.
Simba SC, however, we're not about to lie down as they repulsed Sevilla's forays before punishing the visitors when Clatous Chama clipped in Tanzania's fourth.
Hassan Dilunga weaved his way through the Sevilla defence in the 70th minute only to see his shot blocked for a fruitless corner.
Nolito, who lacked razor-sharpness for most of the game, then dragged wide a good chance when he found himself unmarked in the box.
With 11 minutes of the match left, Sevilla 18-year old winger curled in a fierce drive but goalkeeper Manula was equal to the task.
Sevilla, however, took control of matters after goalkeeper Manula went out injured to be replaced by Deogratius Munishi.
Slack defending saw Dutchman Promese tuck in twice in the 85th and 89th minutes to set up a grandstand finish.
And it was the LaLiga giants who had the last word as Nolito side-footed home from Gil's cutback to a rapturous cheer from the fans of Simba's eternal rivals Yanga.
Starting Line ups
28-Aishi Manula, 21-Zana Coulibably, 15-Mohammed Hussein, 18-Erasto Nyoni, 6-Pascal Wawa, 20-Jonas Mkude, 7-Emmanuel Okwi, 27-Clatous Chama, 14-Meddie Kagere, 22-John Bocco, 8-Haruna Niyonzima
5-Yusuf Mlipili, 30-Deogratius Munishi, 24-Hassan Dilunga, 3-James Kotei, 26-Juuko Murushid, 4-Mohammed Yassini, 19-Mzamiru Yassin, 29-Nicholas Gyan, 34-Rashidy Juma, 10-Adam Salamba, 13-Said Ndemla
13-Juan Soriano (GK), 16-Jesús Navas, 18-Sergio Escudero, 4-Simon Kjaer, 3-Sergi Gómez, 10-Ever Banega, 21-Quincy Promes, 7-Roque Mesa, 9-Wissam Ben Yedder, 8-Manuel Agudo “Nolito”, 22-Franco Vázquez
1-Tomáš Vaclík (GK), 5-Ibrahim Amadou, 11-Aleix Vidal, 17-Pablo Sarabia, 19-Munir El Haddadi, 23-Guilherme Arana, 24-Joris Gnagnon, 41-Bryan Gil
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