- Published on Sunday, 16 September 2012 04:58
- Written by JAPHETH KAZENGA
- Hits: 828
SIMBA launched their Mainland Premier League title defence on a high, thrashing African Lyon 3-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, while their rivals Young Africans were held to a goal-less draw by Tanzania Prisons in Mbeya.
Strikers Emmanuel Okwi, Daniel Akuffor and defender Nassor Masoud ‘Chollo’ scored a goal apiece as Simba, who are sponsored by Kilimanjaro Lager brand cruised to an easy opening victory.
Simba were lively right from the kick off and they threatened on the second minute when left fullback, Amir Maftah tested African Lyon keeper, Juma Seif, with a tricky 20 metres free kick from the right but the attempt hit the side net.
Lyon then took the game to their opponents and won three successive corner kicks, which were, however, abortive. Simba also kept on pushing forward whenever chances went their way and the team went close twice only to be denied by Lyon keeper, Seif. Simba’s Ugandan striker, Emmanuel Okwi, had two clear chances inside Lyon box on the 11th and 16th minutes but the attempted weak shots were easily saved by keeper.
The Mainland Champions’ newly recruited winger Mrisho Ngasa, also had a chance to test keeper Seif with another 20 metres free kick on the 23rd minute but the shot went over the crossbar. Okwi then scored the opener on the 33rd minute, after he was released just outside the Lyon box, dribbled past two defenders and fired into the roof of the net. Lyon pushed forward a minute later and won a spot kick, when Simba midfielder, Mwinyi Kazimoto, was judged to have blocked the ball with his hand inside the area when he was attempting to clear the danger.
Lyon though missed the spot kick as Sunday Hinju’s shot hit the left post and they were punished further as Simba reacted quickly and added the second through the right fullback Nassor Masoud ‘Chollo.’ The hard working overlapping defender was released on the right by Ngasa and he sped to the edge of Lyon box, then beat the keeper with a fierce low shot.
Lyon were hardly daunted and came close to pulling one goal back on the 43rd minute, when striker Iddi Mbaga, went for a good diving header to connect a cross from winger Jacob Masawe from the right but Simba keeper Juma Kaseja, parried the efforts for an abortive corner kick.
Simba were 3-0 up on the 58th minute when Ghanaian striker, Daniel Akuffor, scored from a spot kick the team won after Okwi was sandwiched by three defenders inside the box. Adam Kingwande was introduced midway through the second half and somewhat revitalized his side’s striking force but profligacy in front of Simba goal got the better of the strikers.
At the Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya, which was packed to the brim, Yanga failed to break resolute Prison FC, who are making a comeback in the topflight football. The fans were treated to a near misses game as both sides went close at various occasions.
JKT Ruvu beat counterparts Ruvu Shooting 2-1 in a closely contested match at the Azam Complex in Chamazi, while in Mwanza host Toto Africans were forced to come from behind to force a 1-1 draw with Oljoro JKT at the CCM Kirumba Stadium.
In another opening league matches Coastal Union beat new comers Mgambo JKT 1-0 in a derby clash at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga, while Polisi Morogoro and Mtibwa Sugar also fought to a barren draw at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro.
At the Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba, Abdulhalim Humud’s solitary goal in the 55th minute ensured Azam FC snatching maximum points away against hosts Kagera Sugar. The holding midfielder connected home a corner kick taken by defender Aggrey Morris.