Ochieng played at the heart of the Simba defence as coach Milovan Cirkovic used the build up to gauge the squad of ahead of season kick-off
Former AFC Leopards defender Pascal Ochieng’ made his debut for his new club Tanzanian mainland Premier league champions Simba SC in a 2-1 win over Kenyan side Mathare United in a lively pre-season friendly played at Sheikh Amri Abeid Memorial Stadium, Arusha, on Sunday.
Second-half goals from newly-imported Ghanaian striker Daniel Akuffo and attacking midfielder Kigi Makasi proved enough to see off the challenge of the visiting Mathare United.
Simba were also using the international friendly to gauge their squad ahead of the Community Shield match against last season’s runners-up Azam set for September 8.
Simba head coach Milovan Cirkovic was expected to use the encounter to test his newly recruited players including Kenyan defender Paschal Ochieng and the Ghanaian Akuffo.
Keita partnered Ochieng at the heart of Simba’s defence as second-choice goalkeeper Wilbert Mwita was handed a rare start ahead of Juma Kaseja. Said Nassor ‘Chollo’ and Amir Maftah completed the back four.
Salum Kinje, Mwinyi Kazimoto and Haruna Moshi operated in the midfield while Felix Sunzu, Abdallah Juma and Akoufo formed the striking force.
Simba started the game promisingly and created the first opening after five minutes with Abdallah Juma releasing Sunzu inside the box, but the Zambia delayed to unleash his effort and allowed Mathare defenders to clear the danger.
Akuffor put Simba ahead in the 58th minute with a powerful header from overlapping left full-back Amir Maftah’s cross. Simba’s celebration short lived as Mathare drew level thanks to Juma Nyoso’s own goal in the 63rd minute.
Substitute Kigi Makasi, however, restored his side’s lead moments later from the spot kick after another substitute Uhuru Selemani had been brought down inside the penalty area.