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Simba awarded VPL title as four teams suffer relegation

Monday July 19 2021
Simba pic

Simba players celebrate after being ‘crowned’ with the Mainland Tanzania VPL title at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday. Photo | Loveness bernard

By MAJUTO OMARY

Dar es Salaam. Simba Sports Club were ‘crowned’ with the title as winners of the Vodacom Premier League (Mainland) at its climax yesterday.

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Amos Makalla handed over the trophy to the team’s captain, John Bocco, at a briefly ceremony held at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium soon after the club’s final match against Namungo FC whereby Simba won 4-0, climaxing at 83 points in the rankings.

The Premier League victory is the fourth for Simba in a row. Speaking yesterday, Bocco said they are proud to win the trophy for four consecutive seasons.

“We are happy to win the title and this is the result of the good cooperation among the club’s leaders and coaches, as well as commitment of the players,” said Bocco.

Three other clubs - JKT Tanzania, Gwambina and Ihefu FC - were dropped from the Premier League, thus joining Mwadui FC in the First Division League (FDL) next season.

In addition to all this, two other VPL clubs - Coastal Union and Mtibwa Sugar - have to feature in playoffs against FDL teams to determine their fate in future leagues.

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JKT Tanzania won 2-1 against Mtibwa Sugar to finish in the 15th with 39 points, while Gwambina FC drew 1-1 against Tanzania Prisons to collect 35 points. But that could not make them remain in the Premier League.

Ihefu FC lost 1-0 against KMC to finish in the 17th with 35 points, while Mwadui FC lost 1-0 against Polisi Tanzania to finish in the bottom with 19 points.

Also Simba’s captain John Bocco has won the Golden Boot award after scoring 16 goals in the league that ended yesterday. This is the second time for him to win the award - the first being in 2011/2012 when he played for Azam FC, and scored 19 goals.

This time, Bocco scored his 16th goal in the 90th minute in the match against Namungo FC at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, and which Simba won 4-0.

Bocco was closely followed in second place by another Simba player, Chriss Mugalu, who scored 15 goals. Another Simba icon, Meddie Kagere, scored 14 goals. Kagere was the ‘Best Player’ in the last season after scoring 22 goals. Kagere was also the Best Scorer in the 2018/2019 Premier League.

Also on the top scoring chart was Emmanuel Okwi who scored 20 goals in the 2017/2018 footballing season.

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