AfricaPress-Tanzania: SIMBA officially stamped authority in the Mainland Premier League following a draw with Tanzania Prisons at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya yesterday.
The draw gave Simba unassailable 79 points that none of their closest pursuers; Young Africans and Azam reach.
Simba have now claimed the league title for the third time in a row, a feat that makes them the life-time ownership of the throne.
It was pomp and celebration at Sokoine Stadium as players, fans and supporters received the honour as the best Tanzanian team this season.
Simba, who went to Mbeya with a mission to win all six points, didn’t expect it to come out with the throne prematurely, but the poor results of their closest challengers played a big role in it. Yanga drew with Namungo 2-2 before beating Ndanda, while Azam were forced to a 1-1 draw with Biashara United of Mara.
A point that gave Simba the championship in Mbeya was hard earned since they were meeting a team of hard fighters.
Playing speedy and energetic football, Tanzania Prisons troubled Simba in most of the 90 minutes and forced the first half to end goal-less.
However, it was energetic Prisons strikers who were the first to test Simba SC goalkeeper Aishi Manula a minute after the start, but the experienced goalkeeper was always alert.
Three minutes later Salum Kimenya of Prisons saw his power-packed shot being punched away to safety by Manula. Manula was again forced to save Kimenya’s corner kick in the 11th minute. In the 23rd minute, Erasto Nyoni’s free kick missed the target. The referee awarded Simba a freekick after Tanzania Prisons defender fouled Gérson Fraga Vieira
In the 30th minute, Ezekia Mwashilinde took a free kick Vedastus Mwihambi, who was tasked to watch Meddie Kegere committed a foul in the 44th minute, but Simba failed to turn the free kick into a goal. The teams finished the first half tied 0-0.
Attack and counter attack welcomed the second half and like in the first half, Tanzania Prisons defenders especially Benjamin Ambokile and Mwihambi played no-nonsense game at their line.
In the 59th Minute, Mwihambi fouled Kagere about fifteen metres from the box, but Tanzania Prisons were very quick to clear the danger.
In the 61st minute Tanzania Prisons called in Ismail Aziz for Salum Kimenya and his arrival added a power to the team’s striking force for a while.
Six minutes later in the 67th minute, Simba benched off Hassan Dilunga and his place was taken by Luis Miquissone,
In the 71st minute, Ezekia Mwashilinde’s tricky free kick almost gave Prisons the opener, but Aishi Manula was quick to punch it away for an abortive corner.
Three minutes later Manula fumbled the ball and the rebound found Jeremiah Mgunda well placed, but his powerful shot went a few inches above the bar.
Simba responded strongly in the 76th minute when Clatous Chama fed Kagere from left flank, but the striker failed to reach the ball and Tanzania Prisons keeper Jeremiah Kisubi rushed in timely to grab the loose ball.
Miraji Athumani had to go out in the 80th minute and his position was taken by John Bocco. His arrival added steam to Simba and a minute later Kagere’s powerful header went a few inches away from the target.
In the 85th minute Samson Mbagula of Prisons missed a clear chance after he rounded Simba’s defender, but his shot went far above the intended target.