Victory eludes Simba, Yanga
Striker Said Bahanuzi saved his team’s skin after his late equalizer saw the Mainland giants Simba and Yanga fight to a 1-1 draw in topsy-turvy Premier League match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Midfielder Amir Kiemba wonder strike put Simba ahead in the early opening minutes but Bahanuzi’s second half spot kick made it all square in the match that was dominated by nasty tackles from both sides.The game, as it has always been the case in the previous matches between the two sides, was marked by plenty of fanfare displayed by fans of both sides early on.
Simba Chairman, Ismail Aden Rage, also got in the mix of the pre-match antics, in which he boastfully entered the pitch and walked close to his players, who were in a warm up session on one side of the pitch.After spending a few minutes on the pitch, the outspoken official then proceeded to greet Yanga fans on his way out, only to be booed by the latter.
Both sides looked cagey in the first few minutes of action and there was only one notable attempt by Simba, whose winger, Mrisho Ngasa negotiated his way past Yanga defence but was denied by Ghanaian keeper, Yaw Berko.Simba then pressed forward and notched the opener on the fourth minute through midfielder, Amri Kiemba, who arrived in the Yanga box on time to connect home a cross by Mwinyi Kazimoto from the right.
The Msimbazi Reds looked more confident thereafter, and made a couple of meaningful moves, only to be let down by poor finishing. Yanga’s first serious attack came on the 20th minute, when midfielder Athumani Iddi, launched a quick counter attack and released Ugandan striker, Hamisi Kiiza, on the right but the latter’s cross was easily saved by keeper Juma Kaseja.
Yanga right fullback, Rwandan Mbuyu Twite, was denied by the crossbar on the 35th minute as he pounced on a loose ball at the edge of Simba box on the right. It was Yanga’s time to push upfront thereafter, and the team had a couple of good chances just outside the area but poor finishing was a let down.
The Enerst Brandit side attacked more through the right flank, where Twite combined well with Simon Msuva but the team still lacked the finishing skills and Simba went to the dressing room with a lone goal.Yanga defence struggled to deal with speedy Simba attackers, Ngasa and Edward Christopher in the first half and the same could be said of Simba defenders, who were equally under pressure from marauding Yanga forwards, Msuva and Said Bahanuzi.
Simba were quick to press forward on resumption and Kiemba forced a diving save from Berko on the 47th minute as the midfielder pounced on a loose ball inside the area. A minute later, it was Yanga’s turn to threaten as Kaseja was forced to dive to his left and parry away a fierce, low 30 metres shot by the overlapping Twite from the right.
Yanga had a goal disallowed on the 49th minute as substitute, Burundian Didier Kavumbagu, was judged to have fouled Kaseja prior to finding the back of the net. Yanga pressured there after and won a penalty on the 64th minute after Simba left full back Paul Ngalema, who was deputizing suspended Amir Maftah blocked the ball with his hand inside the area.
Bahanuzi stepped up and expertly dispatched the spot kick into the roof of the net to bring his side into the level terms, much to the delight of the team’s fans. Ngalema, otherwise had a good game.Yanga were reduced to ten men on the 80th minute as impressive Msuva was shown red card by referee, Mathew Akram, for simulation inside Simba’s penalty area. Minute earlier Simba substitute Haruna Moshi survived a red and walked away with a yellow after a nasty foul on defender Kelvin Yondani, who was stretched off.
By JAPHETH KAZENGA, Tanzania Daily News
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