Simba SC faces Ihefu SC in battle for redemption in Premier League

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 07:27 AM Apr 13 2024
Photo: Courtsey of Simba Sc
Simba SC's midfielder, Clatous Chama (R), beats Ihefu SC goalie Fikirini Bakari as the latter's teammate- central defender Vedastus Mwihambi (C)- seeks to keep Chama in check in a 2023/24 NBC Premier League tie held in Dar es Salaam.

TODAY’s NBC Premier League encounter between Ihefu SC and Simba SC is more than just another chapter in their rivalry, it is a battle with significant implications for continental qualification.

In a high-octane clash scheduled for a 4 pm kickoff at Liti Stadium in Singida, Ihefu SC plays host to Simba SC.

Both teams eye a critical victory to intensify the chase on their counterparts higher up the league table. 

Simba SC, currently nestled in third place, finds themselves at a crossroads. After a shocking midweek defeat to Mashujaa FC- a result that knocked them out of the CRDB Federation Cup and left fans reeling—the Msimbazi Street team is hungry to return to winning ways.

Although Simba SC’s dreams of securing CRDB Federation Cup glory and enjoying a successful CAF Champions League push have been quashed, their quest for NBC Premier League triumph endures.

And with two games in hand over title rivals Young Africans SC and Azam FC, the belief is strong.

A victory in the afternoon could narrow the gap with Young Africans SC, also known as Yanga, to four points, ahead of their much-anticipated derby clash next weekend.

A win could propel them past second-placed Azam FC, setting the stage for a compelling title race.

It is worth remembering, however, that Simba SC have won all but one of their nine away league games this season, settling for a solitary draw with Kinondoni Municipal Council FC along the way.

Hosts Ihefu SC, meanwhile, harbour their continental competitions’ participation aspirations, making this clash a high-stakes affair.

They head into this clash on the back of a 3-0 victory over Kinondoni Municipal Council FC that secured them a place in the Federation Cup quarterfinal.

Still, Mecky Mexime’s side have struggled for consistency in the league, recording four wins, two draws, and four losses in their last 10 matches.

Despite recent stumbles, Ihefu SC’s aspirations for a spot in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup are very much alive, mirroring the inconsistency that seems to be a widespread affliction among contenders.

Ihefu SC remains a formidable force, possessing the guile to dissect Simba SC’s leaking defense.

Following Simba SC’s recent performance against Mashujaa FC and Al Ahly, a veneer of vulnerability has surfaced, adding intrigue to this encounter.

With Duke Abuya, Maruf Tchakei, and Elvis Rupia, Ihefu SC possesses a formidable trio. 

In Rupia, they have one of the league’s most in-form strikers. His presence upfront adds a layer of threat, elevating Ihefu SC’s attacking prowess.

The trio’s role becomes increasingly pivotal as they eye continental qualification, instilling confidence within the squad.

In head-to-head records Simba SC won the reverse fixture 2-1 back in October, meaning they have won each of the past five Premier League meetings between the two sides.