Another derby produced another defeat for Simba. Saturday’s derby must have been the most frustrating for the thousands of Simba fans who slightly outnumbered their counterparts from Yanga.
Yes, after a long time, judging on the respective club colours, Simba fans outnumbered Yanga which speaks volume about the recent faith they had in their squad.
A seven-match winning streak meant Simba were the team in form ahead of the derby. Their fans were super confident, some even too cocky. The playing and the leadership unit were also in buoyant mood but all that meant little when it came to the real battle on the pitch.
With all Simba dominance in the early exchanges, there was hardly any end product. The midfielders and attackers kept failing where it mattered most-taking advantage in front of goal.
As harsh as it may seem, Simba’s beautiful short passes that sent the Msimbazi crowd into moments of roars were just useless beauty.
Useless beauty indeed, they began the game on top of the Mainland premier league but by the end of the final whistle they had descended to third.
Some naïve fans will buy into the argument they were cheated by the match officials. That is naïve as it can be. The best team won. It was another deserved win for the defending champions, no amount of complaints about match officials can take away their victory or even demean it.
Simba dominated the better part of the first half but failed to take their chances. They wasted several good chances. Ibrahim Hajib over dribbled in the box when presented with a chance to either assist or shoot.
Midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto was guilty of over passing, he passed the ball when the best thing to do was to shoot. Hajib also presented the same dilemma. Simba other hitman, Hamisi Kiiza was expertly marked by the towering Vincent Bossou who saved his best performance for the derby after a slow start since joining the Jangwani outfit early this season.
In complete opposite of Simba, the victors had few chances in the first half but they still got one goal that gave them confidence to push Simba back to their wall.
The opening goal by Donald Ngoma was all due to hard work. He chased after the ball though he had very low chance of getting it from Hassan Kessy. A lazy player would have given up since Kessy was in control but Ngoma caught up with and ended up pressurizing him into carelessly giving up the ball in an uncomfortable position.
Ngoma simply capitalised on a defensive blunder which he helped to create. Kessy could have taken a safety first approach or communicated with his goalkeeper, he didn’t opt for the two best option and ended presenting up Ngoma with the easiest of chance to open the scoring for Yanga.
Abdi Banda’s early red card was also a result of a combination of poor judgment and naïve. He was perhaps too enthusiastic in his physical approach especially in the incident that led to his first booking.
His second yellow card was also a result of being caught off position. The referee had little two options, either bend the law to allow the game’s balance or obey the law and send off Banda. She took the latter and there can be little protest about her decision.
The most worrying aspect of this defeat was the glaring difference in the physical approach between the two sides. Like in the reverse fixture played in October last year, Simba players kept being outmuscled in physical battles.
Yanga players won nearly all aerial battles in the midfield. Kazimoto, Hajib and Ndemla were simply shrugged off the ball with a little bit of physical aggressiveness by Yanga players.
Then in the second half, Simba, one man down seemed too tired. Save for the introduction of Danny Lyanga Simba had little hope of even getting an equaliser as they were outfought, outplayed and dispirited as the clock ticked down.
In the end the game had familiar echoes of the reverse fixture. Same score line, same failings same Simba.