Slim chances for Simba to defend league title

Yanga and Simba players clash during their NBC Premier League match at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium. The teams played out a goalless draw. PHOTO | MICHAEL MATEMANGA

What you need to know:

  • Yanga maintain a 13-point gap at the top of the table after playing 21 matches without losing

Dar es Salaam. Simba SC face a tall order to defend the NBC Premier League crown after playing out a barren draw against their nemesis Young Africans (Yanga) on Saturday.

The Msimbazi Street giants, who were eliminated from the CAF Confederation Cup by Orlando Pirates recently, have a mathematical chance to win the title for the fifth time in a row.

However, it will depend on Yanga’s performance in the remaining matches. It is highly unlikely that Yanga, who have not lost a match so far will fluff a chance to win the elusive trophy.

The weekend’s result means that Simba trail Yanga by 13 points as the league heads into its home stretch.

Yanga now top the league with 55 points from 21 matches as Simba sit second with 42 points from 20 matches.

A victory for Simba at the weekend would have put more pressure on their archrivals, but it is seemingly the latter will be more energised to ensure that they win the league unbeaten.

For Simba to leapfrog Yanga at the top, the Msimbazi Street side must win five matches and one draw while praying for Yanga to lose five matches.

In football, it is possible. However, not many leading teams have lost grip on the driver’s seat with an advantage that Yanga have. The Jangwani Street giants have managed to win 17 matches and draw four times.

Record wise Yanga managed to win nine away matches out of 11 they played to collect 33 points and draw two matches, against Simba and Namungo FC to collect two points. Simba’s assistant captain Mohammed Hussein said they are still in the title race despite the draw against Yanga. Hussein said they have 10 matches remaining while Yanga have nine and there is no assurance that Yanga will win all. “You cannot rule Simba out of the title race. It is not over until is over. We will continue fighting hard and record the best results we can,” said Hussein. Yanga’s captain Bakari Mwamnyeto said their task is to win matches and try to maintain their unbeaten run.

“We are focused on victories in order to eventually will the trophy. We will play the remaining games like the final,” said Mwamnyeto. Simba will be in action tomorrow against Namungo FC at Ilulu Stadium in Lindi while Yanga will be in action on Wednesday at Lake Tanganyika Stadium in Kigoma against Ruvu Shooting.