Simba SC returned to the local scene with a 2-0 win against Polisi Tanzania in a Mainland Premier League match played at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium on Wednesday.
The champions were not involved last weekend as they were featuring in the Caf Champions League, and they came into the league match having won the last one 7-0 against Coastal Union.
It was Zambian midfielder Clatous Chama who sealed the points for Simba, as he notched a double after coming on as a second-half substitute.
After shaking off an injury sustained in Nigeria during their Champions League match against Plateau United, Kenya defender Joash Onyango was drafted back into the squad alongside midfielder Francis Kahata, who has been warming the bench for the better part of this campaign.
With striker John Bocco dropping into the bench, Ivorian defender Pascal Wawa was given the armband to lead the side while Rwandan star Meddie Kagere also picked a rare start after recovering from injury.
Simba knew very well a win will keep them in touch with rivals Young Africans (Yanga SC) at the top of the 18-team league table and they started the match on a high note with Kagere forcing the Polisi keeper with a nice save from a well-taken header.
The Wekundu wa Msimbazi continued to threaten and Kagere once again found himself with another golden chance to put them ahead, but after rounding the defenders, he fumbled with the ball and lost it in the process as it rolled out for a goal-kick.
Another chance for Simba came in the 36th minute when Kahata combined well with Luís Miquissone and Bernard Morrison, but the Ghanaian midfielder could not place the ball inside the net as the Polisi keeper was outside his line.
The team’s headed into the break tied at 0-0 and on resumption, Simba continued from where they left as they tried to break down the Polisi defence for the opening goal.
However, they were forced to wait until the 64th minute when midfielder of the year Chama came on after replacing Yassin Mzamiru, and with his first touch of the ball, he side-stepped the Polisi defenders to slice the ball home for the opening goal.
Chama was at it again with 90 minutes on the clock when he sealed the points for Simba with a sublime finish from outside the box.
With the win, Simba have now reached 26 points, eight fewer than table-toppers Yanga and with two matches in hand, while Azam are second on 27 points.
In another match played on Wednesday, Namungo FC settled to a 0-0 draw against Biashara United at Majaliwa Stadium in Lindi.
Like Simba, Namungo were not involved in league matches last weekend as they were taking part in the Caf Confederation Cup where they beat Al-Rabita of South Sudan 3-0 on aggregate to advance to the second preliminary round.