Simba SC threw a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Yanga SC in the Kariakoo derby staged at National Stadium on Saturday evening.
Wekundu wa Msimbazi last lost to their fierce rivals in 2016, but since then, they had managed to get three wins and three draws, keeping a clean sheet on three occasions as well. However, they were not going to find it easy against their visitors who have been in good form since caretaker coach Boniface Mkwasa took over.
Prior to Saturday’s game, the 27-time league champions had managed to get five wins from the seven matches played.
The defending champions have been doing relatively well in the domestic competition, managing to collect 34 points from their 13 games. It was obvious, they came into the match as favourites.
It took Simba 42 minutes to break the deadlock; Francis Kahata spotted Meddie Kagere making a run, and the latter passed the ball to him. Kevin Yondani committed a professional foul on the Rwandan seemingly just outside the 18-yard area but the referee pointed to the spot amid protests by the players.
Kagere rose to the occasion, sending Faroukh Shikhalo the wrong way to hand his side a lead.
Things became worse for the hosts in the 47-minute when a good buildup ended with the ball on Deo Kanda’s feet. With just the goalkeeper to beat, the attacker chose his spot to hand the 20-time champions the second goal.
In the 50th minute, lack of urgency and awareness by Muzamiru Yassin allowed Yanga to steal the ball from him. Balama Mapinduzi took full advantage of the situation, setting himself up before unleashing a rocket from 25 yards which flew past Aishi Manula in the Simba goal.
Two minutes later, Yanga fans were sent into a frenzy when their team levelled matters. A long ball from Adeyum Ahmed was not cleared, and defender Mohamed Hussein turned the ball into his net owing to pressure from the Yanga player.
The result means Simba are unbeaten in seven league meetings against their fierce rivals and remain top of the table with 35 points, nine more than second-placed Azam and 10 more than Yanga.
Simba SC: Aishi Manula, Shomari Kapombe, Mohamed Hussein, Tairone Santos, Pascal Wawa, Jonas Mkude, Deo Kanda, Mzamiru Yassin, Meddie Kagere, Clatous Chama and Francis Kahata.
Subs: Beno Kakolanya, Gadiel Michael, Kennedy Juma, Erasto Nyoni, Hassan Dilunga, John Bocco and Ibrahim Ajibu.
Yanga SC: Farouk Shikalo, Juma Abdul, Adeyum Ahmed, Kelvin Yondani, Ally Mtoni, Abdulaziz Makame, Mohammed Issa, Mapinduzi Balama, Ditram Nchimbi, Pappy Tshishimbi and Haruna Niyonzima.
Subs: Metacha, Andrew Vicent, Feisal, Kaseke, Ngassa, Sibomana, Yikpe.