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Okwi’s hat-trick seals Simba win

Goran Kopunovic’s Reds ran rampant in the first half as they took a 3-0 lead thanks to Okwi’s brace, sandwiched by Ramadhani Singano’s wonderful goal from a set piece.

The daring striker added the fourth on resumption as Simba bounced back from last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Mbeya City in style.

Okwi, however, missed the match against Mbeya City played at the Sokoine Stadium.On Wednesday’s victory improved Simba’s points tally to 38 from 23 games, but had no impact on the league standings as they remain in third place, 11 points adrift of leaders Yanga and four off second-placed Azam FC.

Bakari Shime’s Mgambo JKT started brightly and could have gone ahead within seconds from kick-off when Abuu Daudi let fly with a stunning drive that hit the woodwork after a slight touch by the diving Ivo Mapunda.

The visitors were definitely looking to stun their hosts as they kept attacking Simba’s goal and had two consecutive corners inside the first minute.

The early pressure saw Simba left back Mohamed Hussein concede a free-kick in a dangerous position. Hassan Kessy and his goalie Mapunda fumbled with Daudi’s delivery but were lucky to see Ramadhani Malima’s header from barely two yards miss the target.

After weathering the early storm, Kopunovic’s men soon cemented their authority in the game and went ahead in the eighth minute through Okwi.

The Ugandan hitman slammed home from just inside the box, finishing off a good penetrative work by Kessy and Ramadhani Singano, who played a nice one-two down the right flank before the former set up Okwi.

Mgambo JKT keeper Godison Mmasa’s mix-up with his defender presented Okwi with a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 barely two minutes later, but the Ugandan ace uncharacteristically placed his shot wide with an empty net gapping in front of him. Simba were enjoying the lion’s share of possession and creating the most chances.

Ibrahim Hajib was next to squander another scoring opportunity in the 13th minute when he failed to beat Mmasa while one-on-one with the Mgambo custodian, who did well to thwart the striker’s effort.

It did not take long for Simba to extend their lead through Singano, whose magnificent free-kick from the right flank evaded everyone in the box on its way into the net with barely quarter an hour gone.

Mgambo JKT went close in the 18th minute with Malima Busungu’s dangerous cross across the face of the goal, but his teammates arrived late into the box and the chance went begging.

Awadhi Juma shot awkwardly wide from inside the box as Simba waged another good attack in the 25th minute. Okwi scored a stunning third goal five minutes before the breather after a defensive blunder by Mgambo players.

The man, who is known for his cracking goals, collected the ball after one of Mgambo players lost it outside the area and charged forward, dribbled past the last defender and unleashed a ferocious shot into the back of the net.

Hajib had an opportunity to make it four in the stoppage time. Having initially done well to beat onrushing Mmasa to the ball, the youthful Simba striker slammed his shot into the side nets and the Reds went for the breather with a 3-0 lead.

Said Ndemla wasted Simba’s first chance of the second half when he blasted over from 12 yards following another good attack by the Msimbazi Street lads.

Okwi completed his hat-trick five minutes into the restart after being released by Hajib. He beat off a challenge from Mgambo JKT centre-back Salum Kipaga and rounded off Mmasa before coolly slotting home the fourth goal.

Mapunda produced one excellent save to deny Mgambo JKT from a set-piece that was heading for the top corner in the 58th minute and Full Maganga wasted another good opportunity nine minutes later. Shime’s army wardens slightly showed improved but failed to find the consolation goal.

AFTER making a stoppage time penalty save against ...

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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