14 January 2013

Tanzania: Azam Retain Title, Yanga Return

Zanzibar — MAINLAND Premier League side Azam FC retained the Mapinduzi Cup trophy after beating Kenyan champions Tusker FC 2-1 in a thrilling final match at the Amaan Stadium here on Saturday evening.

In a well attended match, both sides went on the attack from the word go. However, they both defended with steely determination, leaving affairs goalless at the break. After a barren first period, Tusker went ahead in the 61st minute but Captain Joseph Shikokoti's handball in the box had to give Azam a penalty ten minutes later.

Azam's new signing Kenyan Jockins Atudo stepped up and scored against his former team in the 72nd minute. The stalemate stood to the end of regulation time, with 30 minutes of extra time added to the contest. Gaudence Mwaikimba netted the winner for Azam just three minutes of extra time.

There was a moment of drama when a lady wearing a white hijab and carrying a newspaper invaded the pitch, thus occasioning temporal stoppage in the dying minutes of the game. The centre referee guided the lady out of the pitch.

Meanwhile, Kagame Cup champions Yanga will be returning back home this morning after what the leadership claimed to be a successful camp in Turkey. Yanga have been in Turkey for the past two weeks where they have been sharpening up ahead of the second leg of the domestic league, which will kick off on January 26, this year.

Yanga are currently leading the table standings on 29 points, five ahead of Azam at second and six above Simba at third. Yanga spokesperson, Baraka Kizuguto said in the club's website that the team finalized its drilling at the Fame Residence football in Antalya on Saturday morning.

'The team is set to leave Antalya to Istanbul at 3:30 pm and connect to Dar es Salaam late in the evening," said Kizuguto.

While in Turkey, Yanga played three friendly matches. They drew 1-1 against German side Arminia Bielefeld with the Yanga goal netted by striker Jerryson Tegete. Yanga then lost 2-1 to former UEFA Cup tier side, Denizlispor FC of Turkey on Monday night.

The match was played at Selen Football- Kalimya Complex at the outskirts of Antlaya town. In their last match, the Jangwani Street team went down 2-0 against Dutch First Division side Emmen FC at the Adora football - Berek grounds at the outskirts of Antlaya town.

According to Kizuguto, Yanga coach Ernie Brandts described the three trial matches as fittingly test to his team ahead of the top flight league. The Jangwani Street side is seeking to lift their domestic title and book a slot in continental soccer after failing to do so in the last season where they finished third. The team's delegation of 33 people included 27 players and six officials.

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