Holders Azam got off to a winning start after beating Kator of South Sudan 2-1 in the tournament opener on Friday at Chamazi Stadium, few miles outside Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.
Rising star, Shaban Iddi, stole the headlines netting a brace for the Tanzanian outfit, 28th and 48th minutes before substitute Jimmy Oyen halved the deficit for the South Sudanese debutants in the Group A encounter.
Nicknamed 'Ice cream makers', Azam showed quality and dominated both halves but poor finishing from striker, Yahya Zayd left them with two goals.
Earlier, JKU of Zanzibar and Uganda champions, Vipers, shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in the other Group A match at the same venue. Said Salum scored the opener for JKU on 16 minutes before Danny Sserunkuma, top scorer in the just-ended Ugandan Premier League, equalized for Vipers in the 29th minute.
In Group C, newcomers, Singida United, of Tanzania surprised three-time winners, APR of Rwanda, with a 2-1 win at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. New signing, Habibu Kiyombo headed Singida into the lead after eight minutes before John Tiber doubled the score eight minutes from time. Muhadjir Hakizimana grabbed a consolation for APR by connecting a corner kick in stoppage time.
The regional tournament enters Day Two on Saturday with Tanzania champions, Simba, facing Dakadaha of Somalia in the other Group C match at the National Stadium.
Elsewhere in Chamazi, AS Ports of Djibouti will be up against Lydia Ludic of Burundi in Group B.
Friday, 29 June 2018
Azam (Tanzania) 2-1 Kator (South Sudan)
JKU (Zanzibar) 1-1 Vipers (Uganda)
Singida (Tanzania) 2-1 APR (Rwanda)