Tight fixture irks U-20 winners Mtibwa Sugar

DESPITE retaining the Under-20 Premier League title, Mtibwa Sugar coach Awadh Juma said his side’s performance was below par due to the players’ fatigue.

Mtibwa Sugar defeated Geita Gold 1-0 in an electrifying final match at Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, thanks to a 98th-minute strike by Athuman Makambo.

He did not only score the winner but also claimed the golden boot after emerging top goal scorer with seven goals to his name hence a good asset for the country.

Makambo also converted a brace when they knocked out Azam 2-1 in the semifinal match, which dented Azam’s hopes of walking away with the season’s silverware.

The game consumed 120 minutes as the normal 90 minutes of play ended  in a barren draw; hence extra time was inevitable to separate the two competitive teams.

“Of course, we are happy to defend the championship, but our overall performance was not that good because of fatigue to my players following back-to-back matches.

“I am sure that even our opponents, Geita Gold, also experienced the same setback since they were also exposed to frequent matches as the boys were having only one day of rest before engaging in another fixture,” Juma said.

On his part, Geita Gold trainer Choke Abeid conceded the defeat, saying they tried everything to emerge victors, but it was not written in the stars.

“We had a good game, and my players put it all, but the outcome is not what we anticipated…we have learned many things from this league that will make us stronger next time,” he said.

It was the first time Geita Gold played in the competition’s final, and they were among the best-performing sides.

Azam clinched third place after demolishing Kagera Sugar 3-1 in an early match played on Sunday at the same venue.

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