Simba launch title defence, Azam FC start with 1-1 draw

Tuesday September 28 2021
Simba pic

Mtibwa Sugar attacking midfielder Salum Kihimbwa (right) dribbles past a Mbeya Kwanza defender at the Mabatini ground in Coast Region during the opening match of the Tanzania Mainland Premier League yesterday. Mbeya Kwanza won 1-0. Photo | Loveness Bernard

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Defending champions Simba SC kick off their Tanzania Mainland Premier League campaign today by taking on Biashara Mara United at Karume Stadium in Musoma.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 4pm. Elsewhere, Dodoma Jiji host Ruvu Shooting at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, while Mbeya City take on Tanzania Prisons in a local derby at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya.

All matches are expected to be tough, with the teams hoping to kick off their campaigns on a winning note.

Simba need victory to appease their fans following their 1-0 loss to bitter rivals Young Africans in last Saturday’s Community Shield match at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. Simba head coach Didier Gomes said they face an uphill task against Biashara United, who were among the top four teams last season.

Biashara head coach Patrick Odhiambo said they aware that the encounter would be tough, but his players were in top form to face Simba, who won the league for the fourth time in a row earlier this year.

He said they have much respect for Simba, but this would not prevent them from going all out for victory.

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The league kicked off yesterday, with Coastal Union grabbing a last-gasp equaliser to draw 1-1 with Azam FC at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga. Coastal Union’s goal was scored by Hans Masoud in the 90th minute, cancelling out Daniel Amoah’s 49th minute strike for the visitors.

Elsewhere, William Edgar of Mbeya Kwanza scored the first goal of the season to guide his team to a 1-0 victory against Mtibwa Sugar at Mabatini ground in Mlandizi, Coast Region.

Edgar scored from close range following Mtibwa Sugar’s defensive mixup in the 50th minute. Burundian import Bigirimana Blaise maintained his record after scoring the earliest goal in the league. Blaise scored in the 15th minute in the match that saw his team win 2-0 against Geita Gold at Ilulu Stadium in Lindi. Last season Blaise scored in the 63rd minute against Coastal Union at Majaliwa Stadium.

Namungo’s second goal was scored by Reliant Lusajo in the 82nd minute.