Simba sparkle in six-goal thriller

MOROGORO: SIMBA brightly started their 2023/24 campaign, blitzing Mtibwa 4-2 in a thrilling encounter at Manungu Complex in Morogoro on Thursday.

Besides winning the match also rewarded sports with a six-goal thriller, the biggest number scored in the season’s openers so far.

Prior to their campaign start, the Msimbazi Street Reds made a big statement that they will battle for every title that stands on their way.

Midfield Maestro Clatous Chama sealed the deal in the closing stages of the match after teasing Mtibwa Sugar defender before unleashing a powerful strike into the back of the net.

It was a befitting outcome for the Msimbazi Street giants who recently were crowned Community Shield champions in a traditional derby final versus Young Africans in Tanga.

Simba opened the goal account early in the 5th minute courtesy of Jean Baleke whose short-range strike was too hot for Mtibwa Sugar custodian Mohamed Makaka to stop  from going into the yawning net.

Four minutes later, newly-signed Willy Onana netted the second and his first Premier league goal after being set up by Sadio Kanoute to enable the visitors enjoy a 2-0 lead.

However, the hosts woke up from a slumber and regrouped in the 20th minute, when Matheo Antony pulled one back with a powerful strike past Simba’s shot-stopper, Ally Salim.

In the 22nd minute, Antony sealed a brace as he slotted in the second goal for his team to balance the equation and breathe a new life to the hosts.

Sor far, Antony is the only player to net a brace in the opening game of the Premier League campaign.

At 2-2, both sides began to play with much caution not to concede another goal, but for Simba, they positively seized the moment by scoring the third goal just at the stroke of the half-time thanks to a piercing header from Fabrice Ngoma.

However, at the re-start, Simba coach made a double substitution, calling to bench Onana and Kanoute who were replaced by Saido Ntibanzokiza and Mzamiru Yassin in a seeming tactical switch to increase attacking options.

Despite the changes, Mtibwa Sugar continued to look dangerous as they were able to invade Simba’s territory hoping to make ends meet, but most of their attempts were easily diffused by solid Simba defence marshalled by Che Malone.

As it stands, from 13 head to head matches between Simba and Mtibwa Sugar, the former have cherished 8 wins while the latter are yet to celebrate a victory and there have been four draws.

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