19 April 2019

Tanzania: Fixture Rile Simba, Yanga

SIMBA and Young Africans coaches have expressed anger on the tight Mainland Premier League fixtures, saying it is not healthy for players. Simba Head Coach Patrick Aussems lamented tight fixture, saying it was unrealistic for his charges to play eight matches in 19 days.

"It is tricky to play eight league matches in 19 days, which involve travelling to Tanga, Kagera, Mwanza, Mbeya and Morogoro. In fact, it is not healthy for players because they will have little or no time to recover in between matches," he said. However, Aussems was pleased with his side's hard fought 2-1 victory over Coastal Union in the Mainland Premier League match on Wednesday.

Meddie Kagere fired a brace in the second half at Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga to cancel the host side's one goal lead struck just 20 second on by youthful Raizin Hafidh. It was Simba's 11th back to back victory in the league. The outcome has seen Simba reach 60 points from 23 games, and still have nine more games to play before equalling the number of matches with league leaders, Young Africans, who have played 32 games.

Only 14 points separate the Msimbazi Street giants with their traditional rivals Yanga, who have garnered 74 points. It was a good response for Simba after bowing out of CAF Champions League, following a 4-1 aggregate loss to TP Mazembe which made them to officially turn their focus to the unfolding league which remains their sole competition.

Speaking after the game, Aussems said the 11th straight victory has created a unique record at the club and that they are now working on a plan to register the 12th win this weekend in Bukoba, in a game against Kagera Sugar.

"It was a difficult match all together after conceding an early goal in the first half. We had to wait until the second half to score two goals something which helped us to get back into the game and dominate them (Coastal Union)," Aussems said. He added that the technical switch he made immediately at halftime bringing onboard Zambian midfielder, Cletus Chama had a positive impact to enable them win the game.

"Now we have more matches coming ahead hence the rotation of players will play a vital role as far as getting maximum points is concerned," he said.Yanga's Mwinyi Zahera was riled by the team's 1-0 loss to Mtibwa Sugar at the Jamhuri Stadium in Morogoro on Wednesday but portioned the defeat on poor refereeing.

Riffat Khamis netted a solitary goal for Mtibwa Sugar in the 52nd minute, after having the better of defender, Andrew Vincent. However, substitute, Amissi Tambwe thought he had scored the equliser with five minutes to go, but referee ruled it out for an offside. "We've lost the match today (Wednesday) but I don't know why the referee ruled Tambwe's goal out. To me it was a clear goal. I trained in Europe and Congo for years, I've never seen such bad decision... it was pathetic.

The league official also rescheduled match kick off from 4 pm to 2pm just hours before and this affected players a lot. "I've always complained about this pathetic fixture but nothing is changing. It is only in Tanzania where a team has 16 matches in hand compared to others in the same league. Meanwhile, Azam FC suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Ndanda FC at the Nangwanda Sijaona Stadium in Mtwara.

Mohammed Mkopi netted the winning goal for Ndanda after an hour mark. Mkopi connected home with bullet header a set piece well taken by skipper, Kigi Makasi. Azam remained second of the log on 66 points from 32 matches, while Ndanda on 43 points moved sixth on the table.

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