The National Stadium turned into a sea of red and white yesterday when Mainland giants Simba squeezed a 1-0 win over visiting Rwanda’s Rayon Sport in a thrilling pre-season match.
A 16th minute goal by midfielder Mo Ibrahim is all the Msimbazi Reds needed to sound a warning note to their next opponents in the 2017/18 Vodacom Premier League, which kicks off on August 26.
Ibrahim concluded a one-two between James Kotei and Emmanuel Okwi to unleash a sizzling shot that gave goalkeeper Mutuyimana Evariste. No chance.
For Simba, the match also served as an ideal warm-up ahead of Community Shield showdown against their arch-rivals Young Africans on August 23 at the refurbished 60,000-seater venue.
Thousands of red/white-clad fans flooded the venue for the match, which was part of the celebrations to mark Simba Day.
Simba used the occasion to officially introduce their new signings and unveil their new kits.
With a number of their new players on board, the Msimbazi giants, who won battle in the midfield, made a bright start and went close several times early in the first half.
Striker John Bocco, who joined Simba recently from Azam recently, almost broke the stalemate in the sixth minute when his close range shot went a few centimetres wide.
Two minutes later, the visitors survived another scare when midfield maestro Haruna Niyonzima’s effort narrowly missed target.
Line-up: Simba- Aishi Manula, Erasto Nyoni, Jamal Mwambeleko, Salim Mbonde, Method Mwanjali, James Kotei, Shiza Kichuya, Mzamilu Yasini, John Bocco, Emmanuel Okwi and Mohamed Ibrahim.