Zanzibar — MAINLAND Champions Simba and Kenya Champions Tusker FC sailed into the semi-finals of the on-going Mapinduzi Cup.
Simba needed a Kigi Makassy's rescue from the seat piece to cancel out Bandari Unguja's surprise lead just six minutes from the kick off. Haisam Khamis beat newly recruited Ugandan goalkeeper, Abbey Dhaira with a spot kick, which was awarded to Bandari after defender Hassan Khatib bundled down goal bound Mussa Omar Kidishi.
It took almost ten minutes for Simba to draw level, when Makassy's shot from a dead ball left Bandari keeper flat footed. It was a second consecutive draw for Simba who also settled for a 1-1 draw against Tusker in another group A match on Friday night.
In another group A match Tusker sneaked out with a hard fought 1-0 win over Jamhuri of Pemba at the Amaan Stadium. New boy Jesse Were continued with his goal scoring exploits for Tusker scoring the lone goal to help his team qualify for the semi-finals of the on-going tournament.
Jesse scored in the 24th minute after being served by another newly acquired Michael Olunga to go top of Group A with seven points from two wins and a draw. The final group matches of the tournament were expected to be played with Morogoro's Mtibwa Sugar playing Azam FC, while Coastal Union of Tanga was to play Miembeni of Zanzibar.
The finals of the 8 teams' tournament will be played at the same venue on Sunday. In another development, Bandari coach Juma Yussuf Sumbu was proud of his team after holding giants Simba. "I promised that my team will not lose against Simba," he said shortly after the match.
His opposing end, Jamhuri Kihwelo 'Julio' who is assistant coach said their opponents were lucky to escape the defeat. "We controlled the game and our movements were well planned compared to Bandari, they should thank God for surviving defeat," the outspoken coach said.