INVINCIBLE Simba yesterday opened an eight-point lead after a 1-0 victory in Shinyanga whereas their closest challengers Young Africans suffered a 2-1 defeat in Mbeya yesterday. It was a banner midweek kick off for Simba whose win over Stand United at CCM Kambarage Stadium; shattered the stadium jinx and maintained clean-sheet record.
It was Stand United’s first home loss yesterday after the venue had witnessed the fall of other Dar es Salaam giants, Young Africans and Azam FC.
The win also intensified Simba’s 13-match unbeaten run and six-match clean sheet that has now lasted over a month. Simba who have not conceded a goal since the Dar es Salaam derby on October 1, are now roaring far ahead of the rest with 35 points, 8 points above their traditional rivals Yanga who have remained with 27 points after their yesterday loss to Mbeya City at Sokoine Stadium.
However, it was not an easy success for the leaders Simba whose hard earned winner in the 33rd minute was netted by the usual talisman, Shiza Kichuya through a spotkick. Kichuya’s thunderbolt was too tough for Stand United goalkeeper Frank Muhonge who tried to save it with his finger tips.
Joseph Omog’s men were awarded the penalty by referee Shomari Lawi after Burundian striker Laudit Mavugo was brought down inside the box by Adeyum Saleh when he was charging in the box.
Few seconds before the break, Kichuya nearly doubled the lead, but his diving header went a few inches off target, in the second half which saw Simba hunting for a second goal while their hosts looking for an equaliser, but none of both teams’ attempts paid off. Mavugo was unlucky to finish the game without scoring as he had two other golden chances in the 81st and 82nd minutes, but wasted both of them.
While Simba roar far upfront, their rivals and defending champions, Young Africans suffered their second defeat of the season following their 2-1 loss to Mbeya City at Sokoine Stadium in a match which witnessed many controversial decisions from the match referee.
The hosts Mbeya City shocked the defending champions by taking an early lead just six minutes from the start through Hassan Mwasapili whose shot sailed into the back of the net past goalkeeper Deogratius Munishi. After the goal which caught Yanga defence napping, forced Yanga to wake up from a slumber with a series of attacks.
In the 27th minute Simon Msuva narrowly missed an equaliser after his effort was denied by goalkeeper Owen Chaima who punched out the ball for an abortive corner. Yanga effort for an equaliser was dealt a blow in the 35th minute after Kenny Ally released a screamer which cruised straight into the back of the net to double the host lead, however, the goal resulted into disputes after Yanga players complained, claiming the kick was taken without the referee’s whistle.
The referee decided to disallow the goal and later after pressure from Mbeya City players, reversed his decision and Mbeya City retained their 2-0 lead. Yanga who seemed to have panicked after the two goals, fought hard and managed to reduce the deficit a few seconds before the break.
The goal was headed home by Donald Ngoma from Msuva’s volley inside the box to make it 2-1 until the end of the first half. The second half saw both sides making several changes with Yanga bringing in Thabani Kamusoko and Geoffrey Mwashiuya for Mbuyi Twite and Deus Kaseke, but the substitution was fruitless as they failed to bring the required results.
In the 80th minute Mbeya City squandered a chance to score the third goal after Ditram Nchimbi outran two Yanga defenders, but shot wide with only goalkeeper Munishi at his mercy.
Meanwhile, in another league fixture, Azam FC won with a slim 1-0 over hosts Toto African at the CCM Kirumba stadium. The ice-cream makers winner was scored by Shaaban Idd with an assistance from John Bocco, just nine minutes before time.
Simba roar ahead at Yanga loss Reviewed by on 10:48:00 PM Rating: