Simba maintain perfection
SIMBA stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches in the Mainland premier soccer league after beating hard-fighting African Lyon by a lone goal in a match played at a packed Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
The tension-packed encounter saw Simba’s talismanic striker Musa Hassan breaking the deadlock after 41 minutes, when he jumped high above Lyon’s defenders to head home Joseph Owino’s beautiful in-swing floating cross.
Simba kept Lyon’s goal under siege for the rest of the remaining minutes up to the end of the first half. The pace makers were just about to increase their scoring tally only for profligate finish and complacency of their strikers.
On resumption Lyon who missed the services of their potential goal poacher Rashid Gumbo, reorganised their strikers upfront.
African Lyon replaced off form midfielder Castor Mumbala for Sultan Ali with half an hour left on the clock. Ali’s introduction was instantly felt as Lyon improved in search of an equalizer when they torment Simba’s defence almost at will, but it was just not their day.
Midway into the second half African Lyon restored their form as they launched attacks to pin Simba into defense.
Lyon’s striker Mbwana Samata had a goal disallowed mid way into the second half as linesman Idd Maganga ruled him offside.
Simba had a well taken corner kick hit the crossbar much to the relief of the premiership new arrivals, African Lyon, 25 minutes after resumption.
Substitute Mohamed Kijuso came close to increase Simba’s scoring tally with 15 minutes remaining when he shot over the cross bar with Lyon defenders well beaten.
African Lyon’s Uganda import Ssentongo pressed hard upfront to torment Simba defence as time was running out.
Lyon put up a spirited fight to keep Simba fans at the Stadium in suspense mood as uncertainty prevailed over their team’s ability to hang on to their lone goal cushion.
Simba replaced Salum Kanoni for Haruna Shamte to stabilise their defence that was constantly under attacks by the Mbagala based top flight side.
Probably African Lyon’s custodian John Mbugua needs a pat on his back for thwarting most of the Simba’s intermittent attacks.
Lyon’s Mohamed Samatta threw over board the best opportunity to level the score with seven minutes remaining when his goal-bound shot sailed over the crossbar with goalkeeper Juma Kaseja at his mercy.
The match was almost on a knife edge as both teams resorted to sporadic attacks in the final five minutes
Lyon are floating inside the relegation pool having collected seven points after as many rounds. Simba are perched at the standings table with 21 points to open a seven point gap over second placed Azam FC.