Mgunda remains confident of second place despite challenges

By Seth Mapoli , The Guardian
Published at 04:47 PM May 15 2024
Juma Mgunda, the Simba SC’s interim head coach
Photo: Courtesy of Simba SC
Juma Mgunda, the Simba SC’s interim head coach

IN the wake of a hard-fought draw against Kagera Sugar on Sunday, Juma Mgunda, the Simba SC’s interim head coach, emphasized the team’s ongoing pursuit of securing a second-place finish in the NBC Premier League, trailing behind the champions, Young Africans, for the third consecutive season.

Despite the missed opportunity to climb to second place with a potential victory in the game held at Kaitaba Stadium in Bukoba, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Mgunda, speaking upon the team’s return to Dar es Salaam, remained resolute in their ambitions. 

He affirmed that the draw against Kagera Sugar hasn’t dampened their hopes of clinching the coveted position and earning a ticket to the 2024/25 CAF Champions League.

“We haven’t played all our games yet. Although we faced challenges against Kagera, luck wasn’t on our side. We’re gearing up for the next match. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not over. We still have a shot at securing second place. We need to address the areas of weakness we observed to garner points in the remaining fixtures,” Mgunda stated.

Acknowledging the team’s relentless efforts on the field, Mgunda highlighted their determination to secure maximum points in upcoming matches, despite facing setbacks in clinching victories.

“We’ll keep fighting. I’ve urged my players not to relent, to persevere, and to maintain focus in all remaining matches. We’re not concerned about other teams’ results. Our focus is on winning every game. I believe we’re capable of performing well in the remaining fixtures,” Mgunda affirmed.

Following the draw against Kagera Sugar, Simba SC currently stands at 57 points, trailing Azam FC by three points for second place, having played one more game than their rivals who occupy the coveted spot.

Simba SC’s upcoming fixture will see them travel to Dodoma to face Dodoma Jiiji FC tomorrow, marking their 27th game of the season. Their previous encounter in the first round of this season ended in a 2-0 victory for Simba SC back in August 2023.

Dodoma Jiji FC has yet to secure a win or even a draw against Simba SC. In their seven previous meetings since Dodoma Jiji was promoted, Simba SC emerged victorious in all encounters, with Dodoma Jiji FC managing to score only two goals across those matches.

Currently positioned not far from the relegation zone on the table after playing 26 matches this season, Dodoma Jiji FC is striving to secure a spot in the NBC Premier League for the next season, as they hover close to the relegation zone, they are determined to improve their standing.

The points difference between Dodoma Jiji FC and bottom-placed Mtibwa Sugar is just few points, with four matches remaining in the season. Dodoma Jiji FC’s upcoming fixtures include challenging matchups against Simba SC, Young Africans, Ihefu FC, and Mashujaa FC as they aim to secure their position in the league.