Azam were forced to a dramatic 2-2 draw with visiting Ndanda at their very backyard of Chamazi in the midweek premiership fixture. The draw is the second after another 1-1 with hosts Toto at the CCM Kirumba Stadium over the weekend.
The ice-cream makers who were right on track for the title contention have found their ship in completely troubled water following the recent unpleasant results.
With 52 points dangling on their hands, Azam have limited options to topple runaway leaders Simba who already have amassed 57 points in 24 games. Azam have one game in hand against Simba but a victory in their next league assignment would still not enough to attain Simba’s points.
Besides Simba, holders Young Africans will also be impossible to handle as they have 53 points and a game in hand. Though Azam have seven matches before winding up the season, there is not a guarantee to win all matches in the fixture.
Holders Yanga that have 53 points after 22 appearances have huge opportunity to dislodge Simba in the event they pull victories to tally Simba’s 24 matches. While Azam will have to play against Simba in their remaining fixtures, they have already played their two league matches against the holders.
So far Azam have ten points above fourth-placed Mtibwa Sugar who are still in contention for the title with seven matches to play. Mtibwa have a game against Azam which complicates the later’s title chase campaign.
Another puzzling factor for Azam is that they have to play against three of the relegation-haunted teams in the return legs. Azam have beat Mgambo, African Sports and Kagera Sugar on their road to wind up the season.
Ambitious Azam have their English coach John Stewart Hall on the knife edge as a possible sack looms wide should the team fail to win this season’s premiership title. Azam who would afford to part ways with a coach even before he losses a match, will be uncharacteristically tolerable to keep Hall in their custody for yet another season.
With everything at their disposal and quality squad at their midst, Azam are at crossroads this time as they weigh to plot strategies for title haul.
Besides the weekend CAF Cup campaign against tough opponent, Azam coach Hall must be the one who spends sleepless nights this time around.