Tanzania Win Cecafa U-20 Title

IT was joy for Tanzania national U-20 side after clinching the maiden CECAFA U-20 Challenge cup after a hard fight 1-0 win over Kenya Rising Stars at FUFA Technical Centre in Njeru in Uganda.

Under the tutelage of Zuberi Katwila went all the way from the group stage to the final unbeaten and yesterday managed to beat Kenya in tense final.

Tanzania was rewarded the goal by a Kenyan defender John Otieno Onyango, who fired into his own net in an attempt to clear the ball.

In the 43rd minute unlucky Onyango could have gave his side the match lead through a free header, but he missed the chance before two minutes later scoring against his own side after Tanzania strikers Kelvin John cuts back for Albert Simchimba efforts.

Simchimba shots were blocked twice in the 30th and 39th minutes and in the 45th minute, Kelvin John who was the best scorer of the tournament came into picture, but his 20 yards shot went off target .

Untimely goal for Kenya who tried to battle it hard in the thrilling final saw Tanzania going into the halftime by a single goal.

The second half saw both sides coming in strongly with Tanzania focused on defending, and occasionally looking for a counter attack.

Tanzania overlapping right back Patrick Mwenda could have doubled his team's lead with a dangerous cross, but goalkeeper Brian Bwire Okoth was alert to clear it.

Both sides made changes with Tanzania introducing Said Suleiman Luyaya and Justin Onesmo Mayaya for Andrew Albart Simchimba and Kelvin Nashon Naffal in the 65th and 74th minutes respectively.

Whereas Kenya brought in Lokale Sydney and Benson Oluoch Ochieng for Steven Otieno and Ronald Otieno Sichenje in the 72nd and 51st minutes, but the changes could not save them from a defeat.

Kenya fought harder but Tanzanian defence remained solid as in the 58th minute a direct free-kick by Joshua Otieno Nyatini was collected by goalie Razack Ramadhan Shekimweri and earlier in the 53rd minute Benson Oluoch Ochieng missed narrowly when his shot misses target by inches.

Eritrea, one of the teams that stunned many, defeated Sudan 1-0 to win the third place and a bronze. Biniam Mengsteab netted the winner for Eritrea in 67th minute of the match held earlier at Njeru.

The Sudanese saw their goal by Osman Mokhtar Alnour which could have been the equalizer disallowed by referee Alex Muhabi for an offside, the decision which resulted the Sudanese players and officials to attack him.

Sudan kept attacking frequently their opponents goal in search for an equalizer but Eritrea goalkeeper Haile Kibrom denied them by making a superb save, and in the 84th minute he denied the Sudanese by his finger tip save off Osman Mokhtar's back heel.

This championship funded by Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) drew 11 teams. Host country Uganda was joined by Djibouti, Zanzibar, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Somalia.

Rwanda was the only absentee due to varied reasons according to the organizers.

Tanzania team: Razack Shekimweli, Israel Mwenda, Gustapha Saimon, Dickson Job, Oscar Masai, Novatus Miroshi ,Tepsi Evance, Kelvin Nashon, Andrew Simchimba, Kelvin John and Abdul Seleman.

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