29 January 2013

Tanzania: It's Goal Galore for Top Teams

IT'S not everyday you get to see 22 goals scored in one weekend in the Mainland Premier League.

But football fans were treated to just that at the weekend as the goals kept coming over seven matches.

Matchday 14 of the Vodacom Premier League provided fans with mouth-watering fixtures, but in the end it was the top teams, Yanga, Azam, Simba, Coastal Union and Ruvu Shooting who made the biggest of gains.

In a rare occasion, matches involving top five sides produced a 3-1 outcome, while there was a 1-0 scoreline in two encounters. Thus, there were only victors, no share of the spoils. Pace-setters Yanga secured a 3-1 victory over Prisons thanks to goals from Jerryson Tegete, who scored a brace and Rwandan defender-cum-midfielder, Mbuyu Twite.

Prisons' Elias Maguri cancelled out Tegete's opener and the visitors looked like they would hold themselves against the league leaders, but ultimately Yanga produced a professional second half performance for a win that saw them restore a five-point lead atop the Premier League table.

It was a perfect response by Earnest Brandts' side especially after title rivals Simba and Azam had both posted victories the previous day, beating African Lyon and Kagera Sugar respectively with the same margin.

The defeat, meanwhile, means that Prisons stay just two points above the relegation zone. A brace from Khamis Mcha and a goal for Abdi Kassim were enough as Azam registered a 3-1 win over Kagera Sugar at the Chamazi Stadium to tighten their grip on second place with 27 points.

Defending champions Simba roared to a 3-1 victory over African Lyon, thanks to goals from Ramadhan Chombo and Mrisho Ngassa, who scored a brace. Nigerian import Bright Ike scored what would prove a consolation goal for Lyon after the restart.

Despite the win, the title holders stay a massive six points behind leaders Yanga. Coastal Union also enjoyed a successful weekend, recording a 3-1 victory over city rivals Mgambo Shooting at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga.

The win moved Union into fourth position, one point adrift of third-placed Simba. This weekend's matches also brought plenty of change at the middle of the table, with both Mtibwa Sugar and Kagera Sugar dropping to sixth and seventh place respectively after crashing to defeats. Mtibwa Sugar suffered a 1-0 reverse at home to Polisi Morogoro.

The results saw Ruvu Shooting leapfrogging Mtibwa Sugar into fifth place following the former's 1-0 triumph over JKT Ruvu. Arusha-based army side, JKT Oljoro, playing at home, came out on top in a crucial encounter with Toto African at Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium with a 3-1 win.

The massive win helped move Oljoro five points above the drop zone as they rest on eighth place with 17 points. Polisi Morogoro may have registered their first ever win at Mtibwa Sugar, but the result hardly improved their position in the league table.

The law enforcers, who made their return back into the Premier League this season, remain glued at the foot of the 14-team standings on 7 points. African Lyon and Toto African are the other relegation candidates as they sit second and third bottom, with 9 and 12 points respectively.

Poor results over the weekend only dented their efforts to survive the drop. Though plenty of time remains in the top flight league campaign, now is the time for teams to start putting together the kind of run of form that could really make all the difference come the end of the season.

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