Alliance FC form renews hope of avoiding relegation to FDL

29Jun 2020
Michael Mwebe
The Guardian
Alliance FC form renews hope of avoiding relegation to FDL

DESPITE being in the Vodacom Premier League's relegation zone, Alliance FC were hungry and optimistic to return to league action and prove the doubters wrong.

Mwanza's Alliance FC players celebrate a goal the team netted in one of their recent games in the Vodacom Premier League, played in the region.

Despite their lowly position, Alliance are confident of their ability to fight their way out of the relegation zone.

They got back to work following the coronavirus-enforced break with purpose and picked up a hard-fought 1-0 away win against fellow strugglers Mbeya City FC.

Attacking midfielder Juma Nyangi gave Alliance FC an early lead which they managed to hang on to the final whistle.

This was a six-pointer game that gave the Mwanza outfit a huge advantage over Mbeya City FC.

Getting an early lead showed the necessary urgency and desire to win from the first minute but more importantly hanging onto the lead highlighted the determination to fight for the topflight status.

They were strong and organized in defence, something that has been severely lacking for most of the season which has seen them concede 37 goals.

It may feel like Alliance FC's 1-1 draw with Police Tanzania was a wasted opportunity, however the visitors are one of the unbeaten sides in the last five rounds.

A home draw against a good Police Tanzania side was not that bad for Alliance FC, a team that has actually struggled at home in the first round.

Their momentum was maintained with a highly credible win against top four hopefuls, Coastal Union, on Saturday.

The results placed Alliance FC just two points away from salvation, with a fixture list that leaves much in their own hands.

The fight for survival at the bottom of the table has rarely been either so congested or hard to call.

It is commendable for Alliance FC to hit the ground running with seven points out of possible nine in the opening three fixtures.

Just four points currently divide third-bottom Mbeya City FC from Mtibwa Sugar in 13th spot.

A single point separates four clubs immediately above and below the relegation line.

It is debatable how much of an advantage playing at home offers Alliance FC given their record of having drawn more home games than winning.

It is, nevertheless, still probable that the familiarity of playing in one’s own stadium offers home comforts that could make a difference in the end.

Alliance FC’s last four home matches sees them take on Namungo FC, Lipuli FC, Mtibwa Sugar and Ndanda FC.

Their away schedule presents a different story, with trips to JKT Tanzania and then Simba on the last day of the season.

However, with a string of very winnable six-pointers coming up against Lipuli FC and Ndanda FC, Alliance FC could be forgiven for forgetting away games and concentrating on their home contests until the end of the season as survival is the only thing on their mind.

Scoring in all the post-coronavirus three games was at least encouraging but the lack of goals is still a concern.

Against Police Tanzania for instance, if they had found their shooting boots and not squandered three golden opportunities in the first half where they were dominant, the outcome may have been considerably different.

But these struggles are nothing new. Alliance have been up against it all season with only 27 goals scored in 32 matches.

The club owner, James Bwire, will be content with the way the initial restart has panned out.

There is still a genuine belief they are capable of getting out of relegation scrap over the remaining six matches as opposed to the other Mwanza-based side, Mbao FC, who look dead and gone