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Nervy Simba snatch Coastal win

The win has seen the Msimbazi Street side collect 31 points to open a three-point gap with rivals, Yanga, who occupy the second position on 28 points following a 1-1 draw they managed in their match against Moro United at the same venue last weekend.

It was hardly a plain sailing for Simba in the Wednesday game as the team was forced to sweat for the win thanks to stiff opposition it encountered from Coastal Union particularly in the second half.

Midfielder, Haruna Moshi, and striker, Gervais Kago, scored the two goals for Simba in either half while Coastal Union notched their consolation through midfielder, Hamisi Shengo, from a spot kick deep in the second half.

Simba had an upper hand for the better part of the first half and will rue wasting a couple of good chances, which could have seen the side garner a much more convincing win. Kago missed what would have been Simba’s opener midway through the first half, when he headed narrowly wide from inside Coastal Union’s penalty area, as he attempted to connect a well measured cross from right fullback, Nassor Masoud ‘Chollo’ from the edge of the penalty area.

Moshi then registered the opener for the Msimbazi Street side almost three minutes from half time, as he slammed the ball in from just outside Coastal Union penalty area to complete spadework by midfielder, Patrick Mafisango. Simba had managed to snatch the ball from Coastal Union at the middle of the pitch and a well worked move by the team’s left back, Juma Jabu, down the left flank ended with Mafisango juggling between a couple of Coastal Union defenders outside the penalty area prior to releasing Moshi, who created a space for himself before firing into the bottom right.

Coastal Union threatened twice thereafter, but the team’s striking force comprising Daniel Lianga, Samuel Temi, Kenyan Bernard Mwalala and Salum Aziz Gilla failed to make the most of the chances. Mwalala was previously at the end of several good moves by his team mates but the striker either fluffed the opportunities or was easily dispossessed by Simba defenders, Juma Nyoso and Kelvin Yondani, who ensured their side maintain the 1-0 lead a the breather.

Coastal Union was a rejuvenated side in the second half, in which the team enjoyed a lion’s share of possession only to waste plenty of good chances, whenever they neared Simba’s penalty area. Coastal Union wingers, Lianga and Gilla, tormented Simba defence on both flanks and carved out close chances for strikers, Mwalala and Temi but the latter disappointingly prolonged the misses.

With left back, Burundian Ramadhan Wasso, pressing forward and marvelously combining with Gilla down the left flank, Coastal Union continued to pose threat to Simba and forced the latter to deploy more men in a bid to avoid conceding a goal.
Coastal Union continued to press forward and looked to have secured the equalizer midway, when a goalmouth melee at Simba ended with Chollo heading the ball away from inside the goal line but, to the fans’ amazement, the match’s referee, Martin Saanya, opted to give Simba a free kick for what he felt was a foul on one of the team’s defenders when the player was attempting to clear the ball.

Coastal Union were then made to pay for their profligacy as Simba scored the second through Kago, in which the Central African Republic (CAR) striker finished off a move by Moshi, who capitalized on slack defending by Coastal Union defenders. It was the Tanga-based side that continued to attack Simba relentlessly thereafter but the team’s strikers fell short of ideas whenever they reached the penalty area. The team, though, had the consolation goal scored by midfielder, Shengo, from a spot kick the team won when Simba defender, Nyoso, fouled Mwalala as the duo was battling for a high ball inside the box.

Simba’s substitute, Edward Christopher, could have scored the third for his side, had he not blasted over the crossbar when completing a move by fellow substitute, Salum Machaku, during one of the team’s sporadic attacks a few minutes from the final whistle.  In another match played in the city the same day, Azam FC edged African Lyon 2-1 at the former’s venue, Azam Complex, at Chamazi to consequently return to the third position after a brief stay at the fourth spot.

All goals were scored in the first half, in which Azam FC got the opener through an own goal by African Lyon’s Hassan Mwamba on the sixth minute, but the latter equalized through striker, Semmy Kessy, before Azam FC grabbed the winner through towering striker, John Bocco on the 26th minute.   

THE Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) ...

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Author: JAPHETH KAZENGA

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