Nairobi — A SCINTILLANTING second half display by the Tanzania Mainland team, Kilimanjaro Stars, saw them tearing apart Eritrea by 4-0 to reach the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Mercurial winger Mrisho Ngassa scored a hat-trick after the team had gone one-up, thanks to a 62nd minute John Bocco's header.
Stars will now face the winner between Rwanda and Zimbabwe who met in the last quarterfinal played later this afternoon.
Stars head coach Marcio Maximo said nothing would stop his team from reaching the final and lift the coveted trophy.
"It was our idea since we came, we want to get into the final and win the trophy," said the Brazilian after seeing his team whitewash the hapless Eritreans.
"As predicted, Eritrea played a defensive game and we had to be patient and try to open up their defence in the second half. I must congratulate my group - they played extremely well," he added.
After a disappointing first half in which Stars played without a natural striker, Maximo called in Bocco at the start of second half and the towering striker headed home a fine cross from overlapping left back Shadrack Nsajigwa.
Ngassa added the second three minutes later when he ran on the right wing before releasing a long cross that beat the Eritrean goalie Yosief Zeratsion in the far post.
He scored two more goals in the 78 and 85th minute to take his tally in the tournament to five goals.
Teams were:Stars: Mwarami Mohamed, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Juma Jabu, Kelvin Yondani, Salum Swedi 'Kussi', Kigi Makasi, Juma Nyosso, Henry Joseph/Shaaban Nditi, Mussa Hassan Mgosi/ Ibrahim Mwaipopo, Mrisho Ngassa, Nurdin Bakari.
Eritrea: Yosief Zeratsion, Abraham Tedros/ Hermon Teklerb, Nevi Ghebremeskez, Alemayo Ayele, Ermias Wolday, Samuel Ghebrehiwet, Tesfaldet Goitom/ Srafel Tesfamichael, Yohannes Tilahum, Filmon Tseqay, IsaiasAndeberhian, Yonatan Goiton/ Mehari Shinash.