25 April 2019

Tanzania: Simba Face Tricky KMC Fixture

SIMBA SC fixture burden continues as they take on Kinondoni Municipal Council (KMC) in the Mainland Premier League clash at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza today.

The league game comes less than 48 hours after Patrick Aussems side posted a 2-0 victory over Alliance FC at the same venue.

Haruna Niyonzima scored a superb goal and Emmanuel Okwi was also in a score sheet as Simba recovered from their weekend slump to beat Alliance.

Simba had to toil to collect maximum points as Alliance battled tooth and nail to resist a defeat. Following the victory, Simba have now collected 63 points from 25 matches, moving from within three points behind second placed Azam FC and 11 points adrift the league leaders Young Africans.

However, Yanga and Azam have played 32 matches. It means, Simba could go above Azam to second if they win today on goal difference because both Yanga and the ' ice cream makers' will be on the sideline.

Simba have seven matches in hand compared to title challengers Yanga and Azam. Most of their games had to be postponed to pave way for their CAF Champions League campaign in which they reached the quarterfinals stage before being knocked out by Congolese giants TP Mazembe.

If Simba win all their matches in hand, they will certainly go top of the table and move closer to retain the title.

However, Simba face an uphill task to make that advantage count. Their road to the summit could prove bumpy given the jam-packed fixture list.

A run of six games in 13 days, counting from Tuesday's win over Alliance would draw the picture on how their title bid ensues.

Having eased to comfortable win over Alliance, Simba have only one day to regroup for today's outing with KMC, after which, they will have only one day to recover before they travel for the next fixture against Biashara United in Musoma slated for Saturday at Karume Stadium.

Last Saturday, Simba lost 2-1 to Kagera Sugar at the Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba. After the four tricky games in eight days in the lake zone, Simba will travel to Morogoro for the duel with JKT Tanzania on Tuesday, followed by other two daunting dates with Tanzania Prisons on May 3 and Mbeya City on May 5, meaning that Simba will have played seven matches in 16 days.

Coach Aussems has opted for rotation as the partial solution to Simba's challenging run-in of fixtures.

Key strikers Emmanuel Okwi and Meddie Kagere started on the bench against Alliance and there is a possibility that they could all start today, while skipper John Bocco is likely to be rested to recover for the game against Biashara United.

There will certainly be little to choose from in central defence as Pascal Wawa is still out nursing injury, while versatile Erasto Nyoni who was sidelined by sickness during the game against Alliance, is unlikely to be fit for today's clash.

Coach Aussems is unhappy with the tight schedule but said they have no option but play to their best level and win matches as they come.

"Our job is to do everything we can to win games and against KMC tomorrow (today) we will go for maximum points," said the Belgian trainer.

He said players are in a good condition, insisting that loss to Kagera Sugar helped them fix their mistakes, something which helped them to beat Alliance.

"Against Alliance, we were a better team and collected maximum points and hopefully we will keep the same momentum tomorrow (today)," he said. Midfielder, Niyonzima promised to continue from where they had left against Alliance.

"There is no rest until we defend the league title and to us every match will be like final," Niyonzima said.

On the other hand, KMC Head Coach Etienne Ndayiragije said his team is well prepared for their today match against Simba.

He confirmed that his team will miss the services of Charles Ilamfia, Emmanuel Mvuyekure, Carlos Kirenge and Sadala Lipangile who are nursing their injuries.

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