Simba FC Retain Tanzanian League After Sunday Draw
Simba Football Club has retained the Tanzania football league after playing out a goalless draw with Tanzania Prisons on Sunday.
Simba needed just a point to ensure they kept the league title and their performance at Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya gave them just that even though the hosts gave an equally brave fight to keep the champions at bay.
An additional eight minutes did not frustrate Wekundu wa Msimbazi in ensuring they went back to Dar es Salaam as champions again.
The draw means Simba collected four points at Sokoine Stadium after their previous encounter against Mbeya City which they won to close in on their 21st league title.
It is the first league title for coach Sven Vandenbroeck who arrived in December 2019 to take charge of the second most successful Tanzanian club.
The 2019/20 successful league outing will also mean Simba have maintained their slot in the CAF Champions League competition.
Vandenbroeck will be expected to perform better than his predecessor Patrick Aussems who got knocked out from the preliminary stage by UD Songo of Mozambique in Dar es Salaam.
The league victory underlines Simba and Yanga’s dominance in the Tanzanian competition in the last decade. The two arch-rivals and Azam FC in one attempt, have bagged the title alone.
Timu ya Wananchi have won the league five times while Wekundu wa Msimbazi had clinched it four times in the last 10 seasons.
Simba’s three successful consecutive campaigns, in the 2017/18, 2018/19 and in the 2019/20 seasons has matched Yanga’s record achieved in the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.
The Mbeya record, however, is not the best that the club has achieved as it managed to defend the title in five consecutive seasons from 1976 to 1980. In 2001 to 2004, the Wekundu wa Msimbazi bagged the title in four uninterrupted campaigns as the Msimbazi street-side started what became another successful decade in their history.
It is the second time Simba have been champions in three straight campaigns as the same fete was achieved from 1993 to 1995.
They won the inaugural Premier League title, then known as Sunderland, in 1965 and 1966.