MEDDIE Kagere’s last grasp goal earned Simba maximum points against hard fighting Lindi’s Namungo FC in the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) as they won 3 -2 at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam Wednesday evening.
Francis Kahata gave Simba an early lead but Bigirimana Blaise pulled level midway in the first half.
Hassan Dilunga restored Simba’s lead but after the break Namungo pulled level again through Lucas Kikoti before Kagere stole the winner.
Following the victory, Simba have opened an eightpoint gap at the summit of the league table on 44 points from 17 outings, while Namungo remained fifth on 28 points after playing 16 matches.
Simba returned into the league battle field after a successfully campaign in Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC), where they sailed into the last 16 round.
Simba bundled out Mwadui FC following a 2-1 win at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam last Saturday, In their last league outing, Simba eased past Alliance FC with a 4-1 win at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza on January 19th, 2020 and this came after laboring to beat Mbao FC 2-1 three days earlier at the same venue.
It was a successful campaign in Lake Zone, where they collected maximum six points and it meant that Simba recovered from a previous set back in the league after being pegged back by their traditional rivals Young Africans following a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on January 4th this year.
The Reds, however, are undefeated in the ongoing league in post-Patrick Aussems era with the Sven V anderbroeck yet to lose a league battle.
Vanderbroeck registered five league victories and a draw since taking charge of the team.
Simba started the match strongly and in the 4th minute, Ibrahim Ajib’s set piece from the left side almost found Kagere in space but goalkeeper Nurdin Barola was sharp to fist the ball away.
In the 21st minute, Kahata’s diving header hit the net for Simba’s opener. The Kenyan midfielder reacted quickly to a Shomari Kapombe’s well weighted cross at the far post. It was Kahata’s fourth goal of the campaign.
Despite conceding, Namungo kept their shape and pushed for an equaliser and they were rewarded in the 3 5th minute, when Simba defence went to sleep.
Musa Kikoti’s cross inside the box found Bigirimana Blaise, who slid in to tap home past goalkeeper Beno Kakolanya.
Before pulling level, Namungo had missed two clear cut chances and they gave Simba defenders torrid evening.
The Lindi based side, despite be making their debut season in the top flight league, have proved to be a hard nut to crack.
Simba, who were building up their attacks slowly in the midfield managed to regain their lead just three minutes later, when Dilunga power packed shot outside the 18 yards precisely beat the keeper.
Kagere set up the scorer, who beat his marker and found his shooting range for a second. For Dilunga, it was his fifth goal of the season.
In the second stanza, Simba maintained their slow build up movements and Kagere missed from a sitter in the 56 th minute, when his bouncing header narrowly sailed wide with keeper well beaten.
Simba introduced Clatous Chama for Ajib as they slightly upped the tempo.
Sharaf Shiboub stung keeper with a powerful shot and in the 71st minute Simba were pegged back yet again, as Kikoti caught defenders napping and his pin point shot beat stretching goalkeeper Kakolanya.
However, Simba rescued maximum points with two minutes to go, when Kagere poached the winner though he slightly looked to be in an offside position.
The hit man latched onto a flick header from Shiboub, who had also reacted swiftly to a clever pass by Jonas Mkude.
In another match held at the Ushirika Stadium in Moshi, Polisi Tanzania defeated Tanzania Prisons 1-0, with the winner netted by Matheo Anthony in the 82nd minute.
The victory saw the Polisi Tanzania collecting 27 points from 17 games and go seventh place from ninth .
The league continues today with second placed Azam FC seeking their sixth straight league victory as they face Mtibwa Sugar in a match to kick off at 4pm at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.