Tanzania: League Turns Tumultuous Affair

WITH Kagera Sugar breathing fire behind Simba and Azam, Young Africans limping far behind, the three-horse run that dominated last season is likely to be history this season.

Though it is too early, the league standings and unexpected results, is a clear indication of a possibility to see a wildcat commanding the league this season.

Prior to their 1-0 loss to Mwadui and a barren draw with Tanzania Prisons, Simba looked likely to enjoy a solo run like last season.

The five-point waste in the two matches is very unfriendly to the team's title defending campaign.

Still at the helm of 20-team Premier League, Simba have bagged 22 points from 9-match outings.

They are 2-point superior to secondplaced Kagera Sugar who are parading 20 points garnered from 10 matches. Both Kagera Sugar and the thirdplaced Tanzania Prisons narrowly escaped relegation last season.

This might be among the reasons that make them work hard on the pitch. Tanzania Prisons, who have played 11 matches have settled at the third place with 19 points.

Iringa's Lipuli are standing fourth with 18 points after playing 10 matches and they are two-point superior to the fifth-placed Namungo FC.

Sixth are Mtibwa Sugar who carved 16 points from 11 matches, they are above seventh-placed Ruvu Shooting by a point A point inferior to Ruvu Shooting with 15 points, are Alliance FC from Mwanza who walk with 14 points after playing 10 matches.

Standing at 9th position are Mbao FC who have reaped 14 points from tengame outings. Out of the usual top-three run, Azam seal the top-ten team order with 13 points.

Though they have played a fewer matches, The former champions Young Africans are limping at the 15th position with 10 points from 10 matches.

Ruvu Shooting recoded the biggest upset of season opener when they defeated Young Africans 1-0 at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The team went on to defeat Azam, also among the biggest clubs in the country. CCM Kambarage Stadium handed Simba a sad day when Mwadui beat them 1-0 to end their six-match unbeaten run.

All these anticipate a tough Premier League this season and highly competitive as well.

As evidenced through the positions of league debutants Namungo FC, Alliance FC or the former relegation threatened Kagera Sugar and Ruvu Shooting, there is no underdog in this tournament anymore.

As the Premier League goes to its 11th round, the race for the golden boot has also intensified with a fresh batch of strikers joining the regular faces in the hunt for personal glory as well as 'three points for the team'.

With Simba's Medie Kagere leading the chase, big names seem to be dropping in from the Premier League and others rising through the ranks at the start of their careers.

The beauty of the Championship lies in its unpredictability, with any number of players in the hunt for the top award - but who will triumph by May?

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