Simba Sports Club may have won the Tanzanian Premier League crown with an overwhelming advantage over the rest of the teams, but below them, it is boiling into a thriller for the final slot in next season’s CAF Champions League.
Three clubs are locked in a close battle for second place which guarantees them a slot in next season’s Champions League.
With Libya banned from CAF club competitions for the next two years, Tanzania who are ranked 13th below Libya were the beneficiaries as the runners up in the Tanzanian League will also earn qualification to the continent’s premier club competition.
Azam FC, record Tanzanian League champions Yanga FC and Namungo are all eyeing the second slot.
And Ugandan right-back Nicolas Wadada has backed his side (Azam) to close out the competition and qualify for the Champions League.
“I congratulate Simba on winning the title, but that doesn’t mean the season is done,” Wadada told Football256 before adding.
“We are in the chase to seal qualification for the Champions League, because with Libya out, Tanzania was given an extra slot.”
“That gives us extra motivation as the season climaxes, because we want to challenge on the continent that is the goal for the team now given that both the league and cup titles are out of reach.”
“Only a single point separates us (with Yanga) and with four games to go, I am confident we can seal out second place and qualify for the Champions League which is our target now,” Wadada stated.
Wadada’s Azam who have been wayward chasers of champions Simba do hold the upper hand currently as they lie second on 65 points with four games to go.
They have however traded second place with Yanga SC in recent weeks, following the Tiimu ya Wananchi’s recent surge in form since the appointment of Belgian coach Luc Eymael in December.
Meanwhile, Namungo though less fancied also stand a chance mathematically as they lie five points behind Azam in fourth on 60 points.
They wouldn’t mind the Champions League race though as they have already sealed their first qualification for the Confederations Cup in history after reaching the final together with Simba SC who will play in the Champions League.
Namungo do have clashes against relegation strugglers Mbeya City and Mbao alongside a home game against Tanzania Prisons in their closing three games.
Wadada and Azam continue their charge today afternoon with a visit to Boban Zirintusa’s Mtibwa Sugar, followed by another trip to Lipuli City, before they finish off at home to relegation threatened Mbeya City.
Yanga on the other hand, host Singida United later today, followed by another home game to Mwadui on Saturday before a visit to Mtibwa Sugar on the final day of the season.