SIMBA Head Coach, Patrick Aussems thumbed up his charges for fighting back to claim maximum three points courtesy of a 2-1 win over Mbeya City at Sokoine Memorial Stadium in Mbeya on Friday.
The Mainland Premier League reigning champions have an opportunity to move within two points adrift leaders Young Africans only if they win today’s battle against Tanzania Prisons at the same venue.
Simba’s triumph today will see them reaching 78 points with only two points before knocking off Yanga from the summit of the table a position they have enjoyed for a long period in the league.
Simba roared from a goal down which was smartly netted by Mbeya City’s Ndondo Cup product Idd Selemani in the first half of the fierce match to give his side a well-deserved lead.
His goal sustained until the end of the opening half, which saw Simba performing below their usual standards.
However, things positively changed for Simba in the last segment as they came refreshed, scoring two goals via Jonas Mkude and Meddie Kagere to bag the crucial away points from a difficult venue.
It was Kagere’s 17th goal of the season and has since surpassed his closest pursuers in the ‘Golden Boot’ race who are Young African’s Heritier Makambo and Mwadui’s Salim Aiyee who have 16 goals apiece.
At a post-match briefing, Aussems congratulated his players for the job well done as they thrive to defend the title.
“In the first half, we did not play well after conceding that goal but we came back strongly to snatch three points from the two goals we scored. It was a big response,” said the Belgian.
He added that the pitch was not totally friendly to them but the most important thing was a win regardless of the prevailing circumstances.
On his part, the team’s defender Erasto Nyoni, who replaced injured Paul Bukaba, said the victory was what they wanted most and are now looking ahead for the next encounters.
Photos of Bukaba with a plastered leg went viral on the social media platforms after the game and the status of his injury is yet to be confirmed.
“We played on a waterlogged pitch which was not easy for us but today’s (Friday) match is over, our focus is on the upcoming game against Tanzania Prisons,” he said.
In his remarks, Mbeya City Head Coach, Ramadhani Nsanzurwimo highly criticised poor refereeing on the day, saying most of the decisions were against his team.
“The free kick which resulted into their first goal was not real and all that were the effects of biased judgments,” he lamented.
The defeat saw Mbeya City sitting on 11th slot with 40 points, not completely safe though as far as fighting for premier league survival next season is concerned.