Zanzibar — DEFENDING Champions Azam FC comprehensively thrashed Miembeni SC of Zanzibar 3-1 at the Amman Stadium here on Saturday night, as they move closer to qualifying for the semi-finals of the on-going Mapinduzi Cup.
Azam broke the deadlock just after two minutes from the kick off with a fine finish from Kenyan defender Jockins Atudo, finishing off countryman, Humphrey Miono's pass.
However, Azam's celebrations were short-lived as Miembeni hit level two minutes later through Adeyoum Saleh. The 'ice cream' makers went on rampage after conceding an equalizer. They missed several clear cut chances and had to wait until in the 35th minute when towering striker, Gaudence Mwaikimba banged in after outpacing defenders.
Both teams made changes in the second half, with Azam calling off Khamis Mcha, Mwaikimba and Jabir Aziz, who were replaced by Ugandan new import Brian Umony, Seif Karishe and former Simba winger, Uhuru Selemani. Miembeni rested veteran striker Monja Liseki and Rashid Roshwa, calling in Mohammed Salum and Peter Ilunda.
The changes gave Azam much more advantage and were 3-1 up with two minutes to go, thanks to a brilliant finish by substitute, Uhuru Selemani. Earlier at the same venue Coastal Union of Tanga and Mtibwa Sugar fought to a 1-1 draw in a group B match.
After a barren first period Mtibwa were the first to score in the 58th minute through Ally Mohamed 'Gaucho'. Skipper Jerry Santos cancelled the lead with less than ten minutes to the final whistle scoring from 21 metres with a thunderous shot to level the scores in minute 81.
This is the second draw for Coastal Union, who also drew 0-0 in their first tournament match against Azam FC on Thursday night. Coastal Union's final Group B match will be against Miembeni of Zanzibar at the Mao Tse Tung today. The match will kick of at 7pm.
Azam and Mtibwa Sugar will then clash at the Amman Stadium the same night. Yesterday evening, Simba were set to clash against Bandari of Zanibar, while Kenya's Tusker FC were set to play Jamhuri of Pemba in group A.