Tanzanian giants Simba SC picked a 1-0 win over Biashara United in a Mainland Premier League tie on Thursday at Karume Stadium in Mara.
Bernard Morrison enjoyed a starting role ahead of Luis Miquuisone, as coach Didier Gomes Da Rosa made a number of changes to the first team. Morrison scored the goal that gave Wekundu wa Msimbazi the victory.
Although Simba were dominant in both halves, they were unable to extend the lead as Biashara United mostly played with more men at the back to deter their hosts from having too much space that could have punished them more.
"We have three points that take us to the position where we need to be," Simba's Twitter account wrote. "A position where we believe we belong to."
The French coach had earlier explained why his players needed to beat the Francis Baraza's side in Mara.
"I told the players that we need three points, it doesn’t matter how we have to win the game because of the situation on the table,” Da Rosa said in an earlier interview.
“The biggest thing is that a win will get us back on track, we drew our last game [2-2] and it somehow slowed down our chase, we need to catch up with the team at the top, it is the reason we have to fight on the field and get a win.”
The victory comes after the Tanzanian heavyweights had recorded a morale-boosting win over AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Caf Champions League encounter in Kinshasa on February 12.
The win keeps them in second place behind archrivals Yanga SC, and comes before they shift their focus to face Al Ahly in their second match of the Champions League.
The next two games in hand for Wekundu wa Msimbazi will be against JKT Tanzania and Tanzania Prisons on March 1 and 9 respectively. The two local games will be played between a continental tie against Al-Merrikh on March 5.
The win over Biashara United puts Yanga under immense pressure especially after drawing in their last three games. Although they remain unbeaten, Timu ya Wananchi have dropped points and consequently have given their Kariakoo rivals a chance to close in on them.
Simba SC Starting XI: Aishi Manula, Gadiel Michael, Shomari Kapombe, Joash Onyango, Pascal Wawa, Taddeo Lwanga, Perfect Chikwende, Mzamiru Yassin, Meddie Kagere, Said Hamis, Bernard Morrison.
Subs: Beno Kakolanya, Hassan Dilunga, Clatous Chama, Mohamed Hussein, Ibrahim Ajibu, Luis Miquissone, Miraji Atumani.
Biashara United Starting XI: James Ssetuba, Dennis Nkane, Mpapi Nasibu, Lenny Vedastus, Abdulmajid, Mangaro, Baraka bMakoba, Ibrahimu Isihaka, Christian Zigah, Tariq Simba.
Subs: Edson Magoma, Delick Mussa, Joseph Zziwa, Kauswa Manumbu, Gershon Kabeja, Yusuf Shaban, Ally Kombo.