SIMBA Head Coach Patrick Aussems said he believes that his side will be declared champions before they play last game of the season. The Belgian trainer’s sentiment came shortly after routing Coastal Union at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
Free scoring Simba hammered Coastal Union 8-1 to officially sit at the summit of the table with one point ahead of second placed Young Africans. The Msimbazi Street giants have now bagged 81 points from 31 games and are undefeated in their past seven matches which saw them collecting crucial three points from any team that comes on their way.
However, leaving aside the big scoring tally on the day, the talking point among many pundits was the first two hat-ricks to be recorded in the unfolding league from the same team. Emmanuel Okwi and Meddie Kagere each walked home with a ball as a reward for netting three times in a single match thereby making the ‘Golden Boot’ marathon a thriller.
It was the first and probably the last double hat trick of the season from the Ugandan and Rwandan imports, while other goal contributors on the day were Hassan Dilunga and a last minute strike from Zambian playmaker Clatous Chama. On the other hand, Coastal Union netted their lone goal through Raizan Hafidhi, whose brilliantly taken long range strike caught Simba goalkeeper Aishi Manula off guard at his territory and exposed him.
Briefing members of the media after the match, Aussems reminded the reporters that he told them somewhere in September or October last year that Simba will retain the title regardless how many points they were lagging behind. “I remember I told you back then during the training session that we will be champions again no matter how many points we were adrift them (then league leaders Yanga and Azam),” he said.
Elaborating more on the match itself, the coach said he was a bit worried going for a break with a 2-1 lead saying that gave their opponents hope to do better in the second half. “We reacted positively in the second half by scoring six goals which is not easy but we made it. Now, we do not have injury concerns since all the players are back to their feet and we must concentrate on the upcoming games,” the Belgian coach said.
He also hailed the improvement of his team saying it has collectively and individually grown in comparison with at the beginning of the season. On his part, Coastal Union Head Coach Juma Mgunda said they harvested what they sowed on the day.
“We have been punished for doing repeated mistakes during the match. Simba is a complete team with top class quality players capable to change the game any moment. I am responsible for the defeat,” he said.
Asked to verify reports that they arrived in Dar es Salaam at 2:00pm only two hours before the kickoff time, Mgunda replied: “It is true that we have arrived here today (Wednesday) but not at 2:00pm.” Meanwhile, Simba return to action today as they host Kagera Sugar at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam. It will be tricky assignment for Simba because they are facing opponents, who are battling to avoid relegation from the top flight football.