Tanzania’s Young Africans kept their hopes of reaching the Cecafa Kagame Cup knockout stages intact as they beat whipping boys Telekom from Djibouti 3-0 in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Having lost their opening match to Kenya’s Gor Mahia Yanga knew they had to get a result against the minnows who were yet to score a goal at the Dar es Salaam regional club championship and had shipped in six in their previous two matches.
Yanga however made heavy weather of the straight forward clash missing two first half penalties to leave the tie finely poised until the final half hour.
Saimon Msuva scored the opener midway through the half for Yanga but the floodgates did not open as expected largely due to penalty misses from Amisi Tambwe and Haruna Niyonzima. Msuva however made sure of all three points with his second strike before the ball came off the post and hit the back of Telekom goalkeeper Jeff Nzokira and hit the net for an unfortunate own goal.
Telekom now have only pride to play for against Gor on Sunday before bidding the tournament goodbye.
Sudanese giants Al Khartoum beat Zanzibaris KMKM (Kikosi Maalum Cha Kupambana na Magendo) 2-1 to book their place in the last eight where they will now be joined by Kenyan representatives Gor Mahia.
Meanwhile Goals from captain Bilal Sallehidine and a thumping effort ten minutes to full time from Kenyan international midfielder Anthony ‘Teddy’ Akumu after Mateo Antoni had equalised for KMKM gave Khartoum the victory that helped them reclaim top spot with a superior goal difference over Gor who also have two wins to their name.
“We had chances to score but we did not take them and we paid the price,” lamented KMKM coach Ali Bushiri in his post match comment.
After their dominant five 5-0 triumph in their first match against Telecom of Somalia on Monday, Khartoum knew a similar display would assure them of a place in the knockout round. They got the goal they desired early as skipper Bilal was allowed space to pick his spot and plant the ball beyond Nassur Abdul.
Khartoum had more chances to put the game to bed but failed to convert their chances much to the chagrin of their coach Kwesi Appiah who was in charge of Ghana at last year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“It is important to take the chances you get. We had many in the first half and we would have paid for it. The early goal was important because it settled us down but we must improve our finishing,” observed Appiah in his comments after the match.
Khartoum were made to pay for their profligacy when a long ball from Nassur was not dealt with allowing Mateo to loop the ball over the Sudanese custodian.
Akumu however spared Al Khartoum’s blushes, firing the ball into the top left corner with ten minutes to play. Khartoum now duel with Gor tomorow in a fight for top spot in group “A”.