Azam FC holds Simba to draw

14May 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Azam FC holds Simba to draw

EFFORTS by 2018/19 Mainland Premier League defending champions, Simba, to open a sizeable points’ gap with their closest challengers, Yanga, have ended in vain as the former settled for a 0-0 draw with Azam FC at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Azam FC midfielder Joseph Mahundi (C) races past his Simba counterpart James Kotei during the Mainland Premier League encounter that took place in Dar es Salaam recently. PHOTO: COURTESY OF AZAM FC 

Simba nevertheless are still leading the rest of the clubs in the league, having played 32 matches and registered 82 points.


The opening period of the duel was an end-to-end affair that saw both sides fluff good opportunities, which went their way.


Striker Joseph Mahundi wasted the first opportunity for Azam FC two minutes into the match, as Simba defenders easily foiled his weak free kick.


They got the free kick as midfielder Clatous Chama had tripped Azam FC winger Ramadhan Singano several meters from the penalty area.


Azam won a free kick on a promising spot a few minutes later, which ended with keeper Aishi Manula punching an effort by defender Bruce Kangwa for a corner kick, which was wasted.


Simba went close twice thereafter as they sought to notch an opener, only to be frustrated by good defending by Azam FC.


KAzam FC keeper Razak Abalora stood firm between his posts to collect an effort striker Meddie Kag from within the area on the 27th minute.


Azam FC wasted a good opportunity two minutes later as Kangwa dribbled past one of Simba defenders outside the latter’s area and floated in a center, forward Donald Ngoma raced in and disappointingly blasted over.


Azam were under pressure in which central defender Aggrey Morris frustrated Kagere’s effort to get to the end of Nicholas Gyan’s good cross during the closing stages of the period.


The opening period ended with the two teams having failed to score.


Solid defending Azam FC thwarted efforts by Simba strikers to notch a goal shortly after the restart.


Simba twice won free kicks almost 20 meters out which were frustratingly wasted. 


Azam FC had to opt for disciplined defending in the latter stages of the period to frustrate the opponents that had upped the match’s tempo.


Azam FC then survived a scare as midfielder Chama hit the woodwork, off an assist by teammate within the former’s area.


Much as Simba launched several more attacks during the latter stages of the stanza, the opponents’ defenders put zealous displays to foil the attacks.


The encounter in the end saw neither of the two squads notch a goal.


In the season’s first phase encounter, which took place at the National Stadium early this year, Simba walloped Azam FC 3-0.