SIMBA’s 13-games unbeaten run came to an end yesterday after a painful 1-0 loss to JKT Tanzania in their 20th Premier League game at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
The defeat piled more misery on the Belgian tactician, Sven Vandenbroeck who has been frequently blamed by the team supporters for dismal performance in their recent matches despite winning most of them.
This will be the second defeat and as well first home defeat for Simba at the start of the league’s second round. The first loss was away to Mwadui at Kambarage stadium where the Msimbazi Street boys suffered a 1-0 defeat.
Despite the yesterday’s loss Simba continue to command the pilot seat with 50 points, twelve points superior to the secondplaced Azam and 16 above the third-placed rivals, Young Africans who have so far fetched 34 points.
And as it was in their three previous league games, Simba were the first to concede a goal early in 24th minute when JKT Tanzania striker Adam Adam broke the deadlock with a superb flicking header that beat Simba goalkeeper Beno Kakolanya.
The scorer finished timely Dan Lyanga’s cross inside the box by making a quick decision to dive in front of defender Pascal Wawa and flicked into the near post.
Simba, who for the first time since the closure of the mini-transfer window featured their two new signings; Shiza Kichuya and Lius Miquissone, who, however, played a slow game to the advantage of their opponents.
Simba made their first attempt in the 19th minute through Kichuya whose tricky corner kick was punched away by goalkeeper, Patrick Muntari as it was sailing into the net.
The second attempt was another corner taken by Miquissone, but it didn’t find the back of the net despite looking lethal to JKT Tanzania.
A few minutes later Ibrahim Ajib missed a good chance of cancelling JKT’s lead after he failed to tap in the ball into the unguarded goal which goalie Muntari had left it open in attempt to clear the danger.
Surprisingly Ajib’s shot went a few inches off target.
Simba benched off Kichuya for Francis Kahata in the second half and the change brought new life at Simba’s midfield and Ajib could have leveled the matter a few minutes, but his shot was blocked by a defender for an abortive corner.
In the 59th minute Miquissone and Kahata played one-two and the former UD Songo striker released a shot which went over the bar and a few minutes later Adam was denied a second goal after defender Gadiel Michael cleared a cross inside the box while goalkeeper Kakolanya was out of the goal posts.
In the 62nd minute JKT made their first change by introducing in Kelvin Nashon for Hafidhi Musa while Simba brought in John Bocco and Cleatous Chama for Ajib and Gerson Fraga respectively.
In the 73rd minute Bocco missed another good chance to equalise after Meddie Kagere set him with a long volley inside the box, but the goalkeeper came timely to rescue his side.
JKT had a major blow a few minutes after their goalkeeper Muntari was forced to leave the game due to injury after colliding with Bocco and was replaced by Abdulrahman Mohamed.
The league continues today when the second-placed Azam host KMC at the National Stadium while the third-placed Young Africans welcome Ruvu Shootings at the Uhuru Stadium in a match which Yanga will be seeking for a revenge for a 1-0 loss they suffered in the first round.