A BRACE from Meddie Kagere drove Simba to 88 points at the summit of the Premier League table as they hammered Ndanda FC 2-0 at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The victory means Simba just need a point from their remaining four matches to retain their title as their closest challengers Young Africans can reach the same number of points should they win their two remaining matches.
Having already notched 22 goals, Kagere now threatens the 26-goal record set by Mohamed Hussein ‘Mmachinga’ some years back.
In other words, if their closest chasers Young Africans manage to win their remaining two matches, they will pocket 89 points hence, mathematically, Simba are almost sure to retain the league title.
However, it was Kagere’s 22nd goal of the season which put him six goals clear as far as the season’s chase for the Golden Boot race is concerned.
Furthermore, Kagere has shattered last season’s 20-goal Mainland Premier League record which was being held by his striking partner Emmanuel Okwi who missed yesterday’s match after picking three consecutive yellow cards.
Skipper John Bocco provided the crucial assist which yielded the first goal in the 5th minute of the opening half and in the 11th minute, Zambian import Clatous Chama provided another important assist picking Kagere who outran Ndanda defenders before easily curving the ball past the incoming goalkeeper Diey Makonga.
The first 20 minutes saw Ndanda keeper the busiest person in comparison with his opposite number Aishi Manula, who was silent at his post as the visitors had no shot on target throughout the game.
Leading by two goals, Simba dominated the tie keeping on pressuring Ndanda in search for the third goal but most of their attempts were easily cleared by the visitors.
Haruna Niyonzima had a chance to poach the third goal in the 37th minute when Zana Coulibaly was fouled near the edge of the box, but the former’s header went inches away from the goal.
Simba Head Coach Patrick Aussems was the first to make changes by calling to bench Hassan Dilunga for James Kotei at the restart of the second half.
Here, the hosts looked refreshed to add more goals to the tally with captain Bocco’s long range volley in the 47th minute forcing Makonga to stretch himself to punch the ball over the crossbar for unproductive corner kick.
Kagere, the former Gor Mahia striker, narrowly missed a chance to net his second hat trick of the campaign in the 79th minute when he misused his one to one stare with Ndanda goalie only to drive his header away to the far right post.
Again, Aussems sacrificed Bocco in the 82nd minute for Rashid Juma as he wanted to add more pressure towards Ndanda goal but until the normal period, the two goal triumph was enough for the defending champions.