After a sluggish start to their second round campaign, the two-time Premier League winners are steadily returning to their deadly best, winning their 2-0 at Kagera Sugar and Toto Africans in their recent outings. And, expectedly, they put in a sterling performance to put to an end their poor home form, having lost their last two meetings out there at the hands of Costal Union and JKT Oljoro.
Goals from Vicent Barnabas and Said Rashid proved enough for home team, despite Villa Squad putting up a brave fight and notching one through Nsa Job’s strike. The win saw Mtibwa Sugar reduce their gap with third-placed Azam FC to four points albeit after playing one game more.
The Manungu-based side have reached 31 points from 19 matches. Villa Squad, which has shown remarkable resurgence in the second round, expectedly set up an exciting battle with Mtibwa Sugar in search of crucial three points, but could not get back to their winning run following last Wednesday’s 4-1 debacle to Azam FC.
The Magomeni-based side was, until Sunday, positioned third from the bottom of the standing with 16 points from 18 games, having won four, managed draw in the same number of games and lost 10. The results dented Villa’s bid to climbing up the standing and boost chances of avoiding the relegation trap as they remained third bottom and need to really bounce back if they should avoid the drop.
A win over Mtibwa Sugar was bound to propel Villa Squad to the 10th position in the standing but that depended on poor results on the part of other contenders, African Lyon (currently 10th in the standing) and Moro United (11th). Habib Kondo’s side proved to be a hard nut to crack for opponents in games particularly when the former is underrated, as evidenced by the team's exploits in the memorable 1-0 win over league leaders, Simba, on February 4 this year.
Elsewhere, Coastal Union secured a 1-0 win over Ruvu Shooting in another top fight match played at the Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga. Said Sued scored with his trademark free-kick past helpless goalkeeper Benjamin Haule after 55 minutes to earn Jamhuri Kihwelo’s side all three points.
The win lifted Coastal Union to 26 points after 19 games and sit sixth on the league table. Polisi Dodoma and Moro United played out to a 1-1 draw at the latter’s Jamhuri Stadium venue, while African Lyon were held to a 2-2 draw by JKT Oljoro at the Chamazi Stadium on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
The Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) recently made slight changes in the Premier League fixture to accommodate two matches that the senior national soccer team, ‘Taifa Stars’, will play in Dar es Salaam on February 23 and 29 this year. Taifa Stars will play an international friendly match against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on February 23 this year as preparations for the 2013 AFCON Qualifiers against Mozambique penned for six days later.
Following the adjustments, the match between JKT Ruvu and Toto Africans will now be played on March 3 this year and the match pitting Yanga against Azam FC has been scheduled for March 10 this year while the JKT Oljoro versus Kagera Sugar duel will take place on March 3 this year. The match between Polisi Dodoma and Kagera Sugar will take place on March 11 this year, the duel between Moro United and JKT Ruvu on March 3, African Lyon vs. Ruvu Shooting March 7, and JKT Oljoro vs. Toto Africans on March 7.