BY FORTUNE MBELE
WARRIORS striker Prince Dube scored a brace to catapult himself to the top of the Tanzanian Mainland Premier League scorers’ chart as Azam despatched Mtibwa Sugar 2-0 at home on Friday night.
Dube is now on 10 goals in 19 games with giants Simba SC’s duo of John Bocco and Meddie Kagere on nine each as the battle for the league title continues to heat up.
However, Simba SC, who are doing well in the lucrative group stages of the Caf Champions League, have not played a league match since March 14.
The Warriors forward returned to lead the pack, despite a lengthy six weeks on the sidelines last year after a hand injury that took him to South Africa for surgery.
The Friday match was the first game that Azam played following a two-week break in respect for the late Tanzanian president Pombe Magufuli.
Dube’s scoring prowess is a good call on Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić as the senior national team primes itself for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers slated for June.
Dube, however, missed out on an opportunity to feature in the last two Group H Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia due to injury.
He suffered a knock in a goalless draw against Mwadui on March 6 having last scored his last goal for Azam three days earlier when his side beat Kagera Sugar 2-1.
Logarusic revealed the players that will form the core of Afcon squad following the qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia, but Dube was conspicuous by his absence from the list.
The former Highlanders striker was on target from the penalty spot as early as the eighth minute after Mudathir Yahya was brought down inside the box.
Four minutes before the final whistle, Dube completed a double to hand his side their third win in five games as Azam rode over Simba SC to perch on second spot behind Young Africans.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona expressed concern over his Belgian side KAS Eupen’s slump in form following the international break after the team lost 4-0 at home to Standard Liege on Friday.
It was Eupen’s second consecutive defeat in the league since the international break, losing a one-goal advantage at the break to fall 2-1 against Waregem last weekend.
The club had gone on a four-match unbeaten run in the league before the international break.
“It’s difficult to explain, because we had chances in the first half, very big even. It’s really the same problem for a few weeks, our standard has dropped after the international break.
“Unfortunately we lost, but if we look at the start of the match, we don’t deserve to lose. The difference? They scored goals, and we didn’t,” Musona said after the match.
Musona played the full match for the club, which sits in 13th place in the 18-team contest.