9 December 2012

Tanzania/Uganda: Heroes Down Stars, Grab 3rd

Kampala — ZANZIBAR Heroes beat their brothers Mainland's Kilimanjaro Stars 6-5 on post-match penalties in the play offs at the Nelson Mandela (Namboole) Stadium in Kampala, Uganda on Saturday, to settle third in the 2012 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

Mwinyi Kazimoto's first half strike gave Kilimanjaro Stars an early lead but substitute Abdlallah Othman Ally who came off the bench equliased in 85th minute as the match ended 1-1 in regulation time, it went straight into penalty shootouts and after the first five kicks, the teams were tied at 4-4 forcing the shootouts to go into sudden death.

Mwinyi Kazimoto lost his kick, same as Zanzibar's Nassor Massoud 'Chollo' also seeing his kick saved. Erasto Nyoni, Amir Maftah, Shabaan Nditi and Shomari Kapombe scored for Kilimanjaro Stars while Khamis Mcha Khamis, Samih Nuhu, Aggrey Morris and Abdallah Othman scored for Zanzibar Heroes. Going into sudden death, Frank Domayo scored the first for Stars with Captain Naddir Haroub responding for Zanzibar.

However, Kelvin Yondani kicked his penalty out while Sabri Makame scored his to give Zanzibar Heroes the victory. It ensured Zanzibar heroes crowned their fine run in the tournament with some monetary value, finishing third to win 10,000 USDs. Kilimanjaro Stars were first to hit the back of the net with Kazimoto hitting the rooftop of Zanzibar Heroes's goal in the 19th minute of the match after keeper Abdallah Rashid Abdallah punched away an initial shot from John Bocco.

His defence was not quick enough as Kazimoto hammered in the ball. Zanzibar's second half was better than their first as they had more attacking flow. Five minutes from the restart, Seif Rashid Abdallah had a great chance to equalize for the Zanzibari Heroes but he controlled the ball to his back inside the box after a great pass beating the entire defence.

Mainland's back four of Kelvin Yondani and Shomari Kapombe did a very good job every time a high ball was thrown by Heroes into their 18 metres. CECAFA joint top scorer Mrisho Ngassa was pretty much isolated in the game yesterday but his partner John Bocco was much livelier. Bocco's flick header in the 67th minute could have ended anywhere as the keeper misjudged it, as it bounced off the top post.

Seven minutes later, Samih Nuhu Haji saw his ferocious free kick punched away by Juma Kaseja. Seif Rashid had another chance in the 70th minute but his shot was safely secured in Kaseja's arms. Playing in his third boot of the match, Ngassa came close to his sixth goal of the tournament but he was inches away from connecting to an Erasto Nyoni cross with the goalmouth gaping at his face.

As the clock ticked towards the final whistle, Zanzibar pushed hard for the equalizer. Kaseja came twice to the rescue of the Kilimanjaro Stars punching away Seif Rashid's shot from the left and Abdallah Othman's from the rebound. Twaha Suleiman Ally who replaced Suleiman Kassim 'Selembe' unleashed a rasping shot that forced Kaseja to a brilliant double saves in 78th minute.

They were rewarded however in the 85th minute of the match with substitute Othman pouncing on a drop ball by Kaseja to score with a flying header, to send the game into penalties. In the final, hosts Uganda Cranes retained the title after beating Harambee Stars of Kenya 2-1 in a closely contested encounter.

Captain Anthony Kimani deflected Robert Ssentongo's shot into his own net in the first few opening minutes to give Uganda the lead. Harambee Stars deserved an equalizer especially in the second half. They had been pushing hard for it and had to wait until in the 87th minute when Mike Barasa saw Paul Were in good position, who lifted the ball past keeper.

Strong header by Geoffrey Kizito a minute later beat keeper Duncan Ochieng to restore a lead for Uganda Cranes. He connected home a free kick from Captain Hassan Wasswa. Earlier, Harambee Stars players threatened not to honour the fixture against Uganda Cranes if their allowances were not settled. They had also boycotted Friday's training.

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