SIMBA held off a spirited firsthalf effort from Mwadui FC to register a hard fought 2-1 victory and reach the last 16 round of the 2020 Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC).
Attacking midfielder, Francis Kahata’s late goal at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday assured Simba of a place into the last 16 round.
Gerald Mathias stunned Simba midway in the first half but Clatous Chama pulled level a minute before the breather.
As expected the game was tough but Simba were slightly a better side but wasted a glut of chances to take the lead and make it a jittery evening for Mwadui Coach Khalid Adam.
Deadly striker Meddie Kagere nearly gave Simba the lead only to see his fierce shot hit the side net.
Yet another opportunity went begging for the host as Hassan Dilunga was set clear by Chama inside the box but outstanding goalkeeper Mussa Mbissa came out of his line for a rescue. He denied Simba another chance to score, as the Reds fans began to grow restless.
That unrest continued as the half time break drew closer with the visitors on the lead.
However, few second before the breather dazzling attacking midfielder Chama levelled the matters for Simba.
In the second, both sides came in stronger as Mwadui kept going toe to toe with Simba as Omar Daga, Gerald Mathias, Venance Ludovic stretched the defence to the limit.
The Reds pushed hard, looking to score the match lead but as it was in the first half, they failed to translate chances created into goals as Kagere and Chama separately squandered opportunities to score.
Mwadui’s Mathias was forced to go out after sustaining injury in the 58th minute and was replaced by Abdul Maskini.
In the 54th minute, Venance Ludovic had the better of Erasto Nyoni, turning him inside out and aimed for goal but his shot sailed narrowly over the bar.
After an hour mark, Simba wasted a glittering opportunity as goalkeeper parried off a shot from the left and the ball landed on Dilunga’s path, who set up Kagere but the striker despite taking a swift turn, he dragged his low shot wide.
In the 71st minute Simba introduced Ibrahim Ajib for Sharaf Shiboub, changes which saw the host piling more pressure on their opponents goal.
A minute later Kagere’s header hit the side net off an inch perfect cross from Francis Kahata.
With nine minutes to go, Simba won a foul in a promising area after goalkeeper had played the ball with his legs and later collected it with his hands inside the box. However, they wasted the opportunity.
The pressure paid off in the 84th minute, when Simba netted the second though Kahata, who reached to a well weighted in cross from Shomari Kapombe to head home with a powerful near post header at a close range.
In the 87th minute John Bocco replaced Hassan Dilunga, while Mohamed Hussein was replaced by Gadiel Michael in the dying minutes of the game.
Elsewhere, topflight league sides Mtibwa Sugar and Ruvu Shooting were eliminated from the ASFC. Mtibwa lost 3-2 on penalties to Tanga’s Sahare All Stars after a 1-1 draw in the 90 minutes.
Ruvu Shooting lost 7-6 on penalties to Gwambina FC of Mwanza after a 1-1 draw in regulation time.
In other games Ndanda FC saw off Dodoma FC after 1-0 win and Ihefu FC eliminated Gipco by the same margin, while Alliance FC playing away at Mkwakwani Stadium won 1-0 against African Sports and JKT Tanzania outshined Tukuyu Stars at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam after a 2-0 victory.