Feni Ali’s two goals in each half floored six-time Kagame Cup winners Simba in a pulsating group A match played at a packed National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Ali who won the Kakunguru golden boot award at home in Kampala this season, opened the score sheet after eleven minutes through a header connecting home a beautiful cross by Lutimba Yayo.
URA played a brilliant football as they kept attacking to frustrate Simba’s efforts to find an equaliser after the Ugandans took the lead.
There were flashes of brilliance from Simba as well but profligacy prevailed up to the end of the first half.
The Ugandans came close to score another goal on the brink of half time mark; save for poor shooting that gave relief the host side.
Former Simba striker who also featured for Azam FC two seasons ago was a menace to Simba defensive line up as he tormented with menacing moves.
Simba tried to find an equaliser as the game’s tempo increased and they almost dominated the big part of the second half.
Emmanuel Okwi’s miss was highly conspicuous on the front line as well as Shomari Kapombe’s brilliance at the rear.
Left back Amir Maftah had a hectic moment to contain Ssentongo who was as slippery as an eel. SSentongo missed a goal after 61 minutes when his power-packed shot was tipped to safety by Juma Kaseja to miss the target narrowly.
Ten minutes to time Simba besieged URA goal with a series of attacks but poor finishing and superb defence by the Ugandans denied them an equaliser.
As Simba players had all their minds set up to find an equaliser, URA launched one menacing move as Ssentongo floated high cross from the right flank to find Ali well placed for the killer glancing header deep into stoppage time.
It was the final nail for Simba as they would not recover as time was running out.
This is Simba’s first loss in Kagame opener when playing at home. Samba’s Serbian coach Milovan Circovic attributed the loss as a result of missing defender Shomari Kapombe. He also said his players have been fatigued by the inaugural Friendship Cup which they won last Thursday on penalty shootout at the same venue against Azam FC.
Simba becomes the second Tanzanian team after Yanga lost to Burundi’s Atletico Olympique at the same venue with the same margin in a group C match played last Saturday.
Simba meet Djibouti’s Ports Authority on Wednesday as Yanga have a date with South Sudan’s Wau Salam. Both Wau and Ports have conceded seven goals at the hands of APR and AS Vitta respectively.
In another match played at the Chamazi Stadium on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam yesterday, Azam FC shared spoils with Mafunzo in a 1-1 draw. Mafunzo had to cancel out Jon Bocco’s early strike to salvage a point through Ali Juma’s last-gasp efforts.
All the teams will be resting today before the tournament resumes tomorrow.
The tourney has attracted eleven teams with Mainland fielding three and Zanzibar one.
Holders Yanga who tumbled to Atletico in their opening game and Simba all have no option other than to post victories in their subsequent matches.