Simba in make or break battle


GIANTS Simba will be out to keep their Mainland Premier League title race alive, as they face Stand United of Shinyanga at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam this evening.

A win is must for Simba, if they are to remain in hunt for their 19th title, short of which, their rivals Young Africans will certainly be champions-elect. Holders Yanga edged closer to winning their 26th title, following a 2-1 win over Kagera Sugar at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

Yanga returned to the top of the table level on 62 points with Simba but what, however, gives Yanga an edge above their traditional rivals Simba is a superior goal difference apart from having more matches than their Dar es Salaam rivals.

With three games to go, Yanga are just seven points away from retaining their title. Simba, on the other hand, have two matches to go and if they drop points today, they will have to count themselves out of the picture to win the silverware.

Simba must claim six points from the remaining two matches against Stand United and Mwadui FC to complete their league campaign or else they will see their title campaign end in a pipe dream The Msimbazi Street side failed to win the league title for the past four seasons and another failure this season will certainly be a bitter pill for the Msimbazi Reds faithful to swallow.

Victory will see them return to the top of the standing, three points above Yanga and pray that their rivals drop point’s against Mbeya City at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam tomorrow.

Yanga must overcome Mbeya City hurdle before testing the two Mwanza-based sides Toto African and Mbao FC. On the other hand, Stand United placed sixth in the league table on 35 points will be playing with less pressure today although, they need two points to be safe and out of relegation zone.

While the focus is on the league’s front runners; Yanga and Simba, worth to consider in the race are hurdles from teams fighting relegation. Relegation haunted Toto African of Mwanza face a must win situation against Azam FC today, to avoid cut off from Mainland Premier League, reports Alexander Sanga from Mwanza. With JKT Ruvu already relegated, two more teams have to follow and this suggests the tightest top-flight survival scrap in years.

According to the standings, at least eight teams are not safe and they must win their remaining two matches each, with an exception of Toto African, who have three matches to go, to survive relegation.

From Mbeya City, Ruvu Shooting, African Lyon, Tanzania Prisons, Mbao FC, Ndanda FC, Toto and Majimaji the cut off is realistic. Two out of these eight teams will have to join JKT Ruvu into the First Division League next season.

For Toto African the task ahead is monumental because they have the toughest matches of all. Playing against title hopeful Young Africans, Azam and Mtibwa Sugar is a tall order for a team that is battling relegation.

To make it worse, Toto African will be playing all these matches away, face an uphill task as both teams are country’s households in Tanzania football.

Therefore the two teams and Yanga will decide if Toto African should remain in the league or not. And ahead of their match against Azam this evening at the Azam Complex in Chamazi, Dar es Salaam, Toto African Head Coach Fulgence Novatus hopes to avoid top flight relegation by collecting maximum points.

Speaking to the ‘Daily News,’ Novatus said their 2-1 win against JKT Ruvu at the CCM Kirumba last weekend has boosted his players’ morale

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