Dar es Salaam. A second half goal by Simba’s striker Laudit Mavugo condemned hard-fighting African Lyon to a 1-0 defeat in the Azam Sports Federation Cup match at the National Stadium yesterday.
Simba head coach Joseph Omog was a satisfied man as he watched the Msimbazi Reds avenge their first defeat of the season in November, last year.
Lyon, against all predictions, stunned Omog’s men 1-0 in the Mainland Premier League match, the defeat that prompted the Cameroonian to change their tactical approach.
In yesterday’s match, Simba enjoyed the lion’s share of the game but had to wait until two minutes to the hour mark to break the stalemate through Mavugo.
Mavugo latched onto a pass by Ibrahim Ajib to unleash a low but tricky shot that gave goalkeeper Rostand Youthe no chance to give Simba the win they needed to make it to the quarter-finals.
Simba made a bright start and ought to have gone one up eight minutes into the game when Juma Luzio broke through, only to see his shot go a few centimetres wide.
Another clear chance for the Msimbazi Street outfit came in the 17th minute when a Luzio’s sizzling shot was parried off by goalkeeper Youthe for an abortive corner.
They fluffed another chance two minutes later when Ajib beat two defenders on the edge of the penalty box, but his show narrowly missed target.
Lyon, who play their hearts out whenever they are up against the country’s football heavyweights, Simba and Young Africans, won the battle in the midfield in the first half, but had trouble in breaking down their opponents’ defence.
They missed what could have been the match-opener in the 26th minute when Omary Daga cleverly sneaked between two players just outside the penalty box, but his shot missed target.
In the 33rd minute, Lyon goalie Youthe made a brave save to clear a goal-bound shot by Said Ndemla as Simba pressed upfront relentlessly for a goal.
Four minutes later, the Lyon goalkeeper was forced to dive full length to a clear a thunderbolt by Ajib.
In the 60th minute, Juma Luzio was replaced by Shiza Kichuya, one Simba’s regular goal-getters. A few minutes later, Omog called in Mohd Ibrahim to replace Said Ndemla.
Simba: Daniel Agyei, Jonas Mkude, Janvier Bukungu, Mohammed Hussein, Abdi Banda, Novalt Lufunga, James Kotei, Said Ndemla, Laudit Mavugo, Ibrahim Ajib and Juma Luzio.
African Lyon: Rostand Youthe, Baraka Jafary, Miraji Adam, Omary Salum, Hamad Waziri, Hasan Isiaka, Peter Mwalianzi, Hamad Manzi, Rehani Kibingu, Venance Joseph and Omary Daga.