Dar es Salaam — Rejuvenated Simba had two reasons to celebrate on Thursday, maintaining their smooth run in the Mainland Premier League and with news of the appointment of a new coach.
The Msimbazi Reds inflicted a painful 4-0 defeat on Singida United in an exciting match at the National Stadium to underline their quest for the title. They welcomed the convincing win with news of the appointment of former Cameroon's national soccer team tactician, Pierre Lechantre as the new head coach.
The Frenchman, who guided Cameroon's Indomitable Lions to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2000, replaces Joseph Omog.
Simba leadership sacked Omog recently following the Msimbazi Street team's early elimination in the Azam HD Federation Cup.
They crashed out of the Azam HD Federation Cup, popularly known as FA Cup, after going down to a second division team, Green Warriors.
The club's information officer, Haji Manara, said yesterday that Lechantre will be assisted by Mohammed Hbibi from Morocco, Burundian Djuma Masoud and Muharami Mohamed.
Simba have been under interim coach, Masoud for two or so months.
According to Manara, the new coach has promised to make the club a force to reckon with in Africa.
Lechantre was accorded a befitting welcome at the National Stadium yesterday as Simba thumped Singida to remain unruffled at the helm of the league table.
They now boast 29 points, two ahead of their nearest challengers Azam FC, who were forced to a 1-1 draw by struggling Majimaji at the Majimaji Stadium in Ruvuma yesterday.
In that match, Simba, needing a win to appease their fans after a dismal performance in the recently ended Mapinduzi Cup in Zanzibar, their Ugandan international Emmanuel Okwi struck twice to steer his team to the deserved win.
It took them three minutes to go one up through their regular goal-scorer Shiza Kichuya off a cross from Asante Kwasi.
They doubled their lead in 24th minute when Saidi Ndemla beat two defenders to place the ball to Kwasi who, in turn beat goalkeeper Peter Manyika with a tricky shot.
Second half Okwi scored two more goals in the 76th and 83rd minute to send the hosts' fans into wild celebrations at the 60,000-seater venue.