TOTO African, a team that denied Simba Mainland Premier League title last season, host the Msimbazi Reds today in a do or die match at CCM Kirumba Stadium.
With Simba at the top of league table and Toto African second from bottom, the match is billed to be tough on both sides and fiercely contested. Simba are seeking to win at any cost since it will place the team sagely at the title winning side while the relegationthreatened Toto African will fight tooth and nail in a bid to stay in the premiership.
Simba, who on Thursday won their peak, would seek to end their Lake Zone tour with maximum nine points. Already, they have grabbed six of them through an amazing 3-2 victory over Mbao FC and the appeal against Kagera Sugar that awarded them three points and three goals.
Initially, Simba lost 2-1 to Kagera Sugar, but the Reds lodged an appeal to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), protesting against their opponents to field defender Mohamed Fakhi, who had three yellow cards.
Simba are now firm at the helm with 61 points after playing 26 games, while Toto African are placed second from the bottom with 25 points from 25 games. Commenting on the match, Simba’s Assistant Coach Jackson Mayanja has promised his team’s fans victory against Toto African. Speaking during his team’s training at CCM Kirumba Stadium yesterday, Mayanja said his team is well drilled for the game and he assured fans of a big victory.
“Our target is to ensure we win the match and get three points which are very important to us,” Mayanja said. Mayanja said they have rectified mistakes at the defence which cost them dearly in their match against Mbao FC.
However, Mayanja said the team will miss the service of a key defender, Method Mwanjali, who is still nursing injuries. Toto African who disrupted Simba’s title chase last season, are determined to repeat the feat today, according to the team’s coach Fulgence Novatus.
Last season, Simba who were inches away from clinching the title, succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at the stubborn Toto African at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. A stunning first half strike by striker Waziri Junior was enough to give Toto African the deserved win which was spearheaded by a superb defensive performance.
Novatus has warned Simba not to expect an easy game. And, this means it won’t be an easy game for Simba as Toto African will fight hard to ensure they win to stay in the Premier League next season. In a nutshell, today’s game is expected to be tough and mouthwatering similar to the game between Mbao and Simba. Novatus said his team is well prepared to win the match to crawl away from the relegation threat. Toto need nothing short of victory, to go above Majimaji and Mbao FC, who have 26 and 27 points respectively from 26, matches each.
“Our team is not in a good position, we lost our last match 4-1 against Majimaji in Songea last weekend. We should win all the remaining four matches to claim 12 points, which will help us to avoid relegation,’’ he said. In the first round match held at the National Stadium on October 23rd, last year, Simba beat Toto African 3-0, with two goals netted by virtuoso midfielder, Muzamiru Yassin and Burundian striker, Laudit Mavugo netted one.