Simba’s title race disrupted

SIMBA’S campaign to axe a five-point  gap hit snags after hosts Namungo held them to a 1-1 draw in their Premier League game at Majaliwa Stadium in Ruangwa, Lindi late on Wednesday.

If Simba won on Wednesday, they would reduce the five-point gap with leaders Young Africans to two.

Following the painful draw, Simba are now four-point inferior to the leaders and traditional rivals, Yanga prior to their today’s game with Singida Big Stars at Liti Stadium in Singida.

Simba failed to show the usual sharpness due to the fact that majority of the team’s usual starters are reserved for crucial Sunday game against Azam.

It was a shocking draw to Simba fans who longed to see their team win the game.

Yanga, who play Singida Big Stars still lead the table with 68 points and they will extend the gap to seven points if they win today.

Simba who started brightly, netted their opener through Jean Baleke in the 28th minute, but Namungo fought back and managed to equalise through Hassan Kabunda, who capitalised on Simba’s defensive blander in an attempting to clear a corner ball.

Still glued at the second position with 64 points from 27-game outings, Simba must pray for their traditional rivals to lose two of four remaining matches.

For Namungo, they have remained  fixed at sixth position with 36 points.

Jean Baleke continued to  be among the deadliest strikers  at the moment and yesterday scored his 8th goal.

Baleke netted the Simba ‘s opener in the 29th minute completing a Saidi Ntibazionkiza’s well-sculptured set piece.

Yanga’s Fiston Mayele still leads the golden boot race with 16 goals.

Also, Ntibazonkiza, who assisted Baleke, has inked 10 assists this season.

Namungo levelled the scoreboard through Hassan Kabunda in the 39th minute taking advantage of Simba’s defensive blander in an attempt to clear a corner ball from the right flank.

Just after equalising, Namungo pressed Simba with Jacob Masawe’s strike, but Simba’s goalkeeper Ally Salim stood firm and thwarted the danger.

The first half completed with a 1-1 draw.

It was a 50-50 game as the both teams showed quality in possession and building scoring chances.

Throughout the first half, Namungo had more shots on target. Still, a good partnership between the defence line and their goalkeeper avoided the danger Namungo created in the 32nd minute through Suleiman Kabunda and Shiza Kichuya in the 35th minute.

A few minutes after the start of the  second half, Kichuya added a tally of attempts with a powerful strike, but Ally Salim again stopped it.

Simba responded with Augustine Okrah’s bullet strike in the 76th minute after receiving a well-weighted pass from Peter Banda.

Simba had multiple changes in their squad, bringing several new faces different from the regular first-eleven in most league games.

The Brazilian instructor Roberto Oliveira introduced Israel Mwenda, Gadiel Michael, and Kennedy Juma at the backline.

Oliveira also placed Erasto Nyoni, Jonas Mkude, Pape Ousmane Sakho, Nassor Kapama, Augustine Okrah and Peter Banda into the middle of terrain.

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