Simba eyes return to victory in NBC Premier League, confronts Namungo

03May 2022
Michael Mwebe
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
Simba eyes return to victory in NBC Premier League, confronts Namungo

2021/22 NBC Premier League's defending champion Simba SC is eyeing a return to winning ways in the league ahead of the side's away clash with Namungo FC at Ilulu Stadium, Lindi today afternoon

Simba SC winger, Bernard Morrison (C), attempts to beat Namungo FC goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana when the two outfits met in this season's NBC Premier League tie which took place in Dar es Salaam in January.

 

Simba SC is coming off two frustrating draws that left the club trailing runaway league leader, Yanga, by 13 points.

Pablo Franco, Simba SC's head coach, understands the title race is over, it is all about if Yanga can go the remainder of the season unbeaten, and, with Azam FC, Namungo FC, and Simba SC ties out of Yanga's way, it is hard to bet against.

Pablo is facing the most challenging period of his Simba SC career to date.

The 2021/22 CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal exit coupled with the recent draws in the NBC Premier League has brought criticism to the tactician.

The priority for Simba SC at the moment is to get the win against Namungo FC and stop the run of two games without a victory in the process and finish the season strongly.

Simba SC has claimed 16 points from 10 away matches this season.

Both league defeats for Simba SC this season have come out of matches played out of ‎Dar es Salaam, a 1-0 loss against Mbeya City FC was followed by a similar loss away to Kagera Sugar.

Simba SC will, on the one hand, count on Congolese attacker Chris Mugalu, Meddie Kagere, and the returning John Bocco to score the much-needed goals.

On the other hand, Namungo FC suffered a 2-1 loss away to Yanga on April 23 but remained in the hunt for a top-three finish, which would earn African club football for the 2022/23 season.

They have claimed 16 points from 10 home matches so far this season.

The danger-man in Namungo FC is Reliants Lusajo, who has so far scored 10 league goals and sits third on the goal scorers' ladder behind Yanga striker Fiston Mayele and Geita Gold FC’s George Mpole.

In head-to-head stats, Simba SC and Namungo FC have met in five league matches since the 2019/20 season.

The Msimbazi Reds boast an unbeaten record, with four wins and one draw from the quartet of games.

The Dar giants have recorded one win and one draw from two away matches in the rivalry.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in November 2021, Simba SC claimed a 1-0 home win thanks to a late goal netted by Meddie Kagere.