VPL title chase gathers pace

23Nov 2017
The Guardian
VPL title chase gathers pace

THE 11th round of the 2017/18 Mainland Premier League rolls on this weekend, with pacesetters Simba SC facing Lipuli FC at the Azam Complex in Dar es Salaam.

Yanga striker, Aubrey Chirwa ( R) dribbles past Ndanda player during a recent Mainland Premier League's match in Dar es Salaam. (Photo: Courtesy of Tanzania Football Federation)

It promises to be a must watch match Simba are looking forward at maintaining their hold on the top spot in the league, while the visitors are determined to stop the former from stretching their unbeaten run.

In theory, Lipuli FC will enter the pitch as minors but the reality on the ground is that there are no small teams this season.

The Iringa-based side, which is coached by former Simba SC midfielder, Suleiman Matola, has proved to be a hard nut to crack as the outfit managed to force a draw with heavyweights and defending champions, Yanga.

It is a far-fetched dream for Mainland Premier League outfits from upcountry to win games in Dar es Salaam ,but Simba SC's assistant coach, Masoud Djuma, said his side is ready for any encounter.

"From the Mainland Premier League games I have watched so far, there is no easy team in the league, we are well prepared for any encounter," the coach said at his team's training base in the city.

Matola, who as well served as Simba SC assistant coach in the past, said his side is ready for any team and promised to surprise his former club.

"We are very determined to beat Simba SC, I have players who are ready for the game, for now we are working on finishing," the coach disclosed.

Several other interest generating duels have beeen scheduled for the same weekend. Singida United will entertain Mbeya City FC on Saturday in a match that will see the former attempt to maintain their winning ways.

Singida United, currently positioned fourth in the standing, edged Lipuli FC 1-0 in the previous match and victory over Mbeya City FC will see the side continue to put pressure on top teams in the table.

Ruvu Shooting will face Majimaji FC at the former's backyard, Mabatini ground, in Coast Region in a game that, as well, stands to attract interest from domestic soccer followers.

The Coast Region team, which had endured a disappointing run in the early stages, registered its first win after edging Ndanda FC at the same venue last weekend. 

Ruvu will certainly need three points in the match against Majimaji FC, if the former are to keep alive hopes of maintaining their place in the league. 

In other Saturday matches, Kagera Sugatr will face Stand United FC at the Kaitaba Stadium in Kagera, Mbao FC of Mwanza will host Mwadui FC at the CCM Kirumba Stadium and Prisons will be away to Yanga in Dar es Salaam.