Referee Alex Muhabi (Uganda) talks to Libya’s Tariq Aljamal during the Group ‘A’ match with Rwanda at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Thursday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
ZANZIBAR turned in another stunning act beating Tanzania Mainland 2-1 at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Thursday to remain unbeaten and as one of the favourites to advance to the semi-finals from a tight five-team Group ‘A’ of the 2017 Cecafa Challenge Cup.
With six points, after an earlier 3-1 win over Rwanda, Zanzibar only need a point from remaining matches with Kenya (Saturday) and Libya on Monday.
Also on Thursday in Machakos, Rwanda drew 0-0 with Libya and the Amavubi, with previous loss to Kenya (0-2) and Zanzibar, are out of the tournament, a shock for the only team in the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) qualified for next January’s African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Morocco.
Eric Erandukinda of Rwanda’s Amavubi left in charge for the ball under pressure from Libya’s Muftah Taktak in their Challenge Cup match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Thursday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Libya, clinched the “King of Draws” tag with their third 0-0 result, earlier similar ones being against Tanzania Mainland and Kenya. The only way Libya can make the semi-finals is by thrashing Zanzibar on Monday and gaining six points to await arithmetic to put them through with either Kenya or Tanzania Mainland.
In Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County also on Thursday, Burundi whipped Ethiopia 4-1 and the four-team Group ‘B’ virtually had their semi-finalists decided; the experienced Burundi and Uganda likely going through while “bombing out” being winless South Sudan and perhaps Ethiopia if the Walia Ibex do not stage an upset against Uganda on Sunday.
Today, Friday, Uganda are expected to be too strong for South Sudan at Bukhungu. It is a rest-day in Machakos, 62km east of Kenya capital Nairobi, where rain fell overnight Thursday continuing on Friday morning.
For crying out loud: When things were not going right for Rwanda coach Antoine Hey in their match with Zanzibar on Tuesday at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos. His team lost 1-3. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Rwanda 0-0 Libya ‘A’
Both Rwanda and Libya hit the posts in what should have been goals in a highly competitive match, an improved performance for earlier disappointing Rwanda. In the end it ended goalless and elimination for Rwanda.
The Rwanda coach Antoine Hey was left reviewing a situation where his team was tipped as one of the tournament’s favourites.
Libya’s Ali Maetouq (left) tackles Justin Mico of Rwanda during their Challenge Cup match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Thursday. Score 0-0. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
“It is disappointing to go out,” he said, adding it was due to many factors: “Today I am pleased with our performance. I can’t say the same of our first match against Kenya in Kakamega. We were taken for a tiring trip to west of the country [Kakamega]; with no rest at all and under bad accommodation … everything. We were badly affected. I really do not see the reason why the Group game was made so unsuitable for us so that we could have ‘an opening party’ [in Kakamega].”
Hey added: “But here in Machakos, the people, the environment, the organisation … everything has been top class and we are very happy. I am glad we put up a good show today and will do so in the concluding match ( versus Tanzania Mainland, on Saturday).”
Hey said he gambled by fielding literally a second-string side against Zanzibar to slump 1-3. “We are trying out all our players before settling on who will be in the CHAN team. We now have four weeks (CHAN is January 12 – February 4, 2018).”
‘Mama Mia’: An overawed Libya coach Omar Elmaryami during their Group ‘A’ Cecafa Challenge Cup match with Rwanda at Kenyatta Stadium on Thursday; score 0-0. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Incidentally, Rwanda will be facing Libya in CHAN Group ‘C’ action in Tangier next month. The other teams are Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea. And Hey said after testing Libya in the Cecafa Challenge Cup he knew what to expect in Morocco.
“Libya are a formidable opponent and am glad that our play today (Thursday) was competitive. I am sure we shall firm into a ready team come CHAN.”
Libya coach Omar Elmaryami said: “We are grateful of the invitation and we like the tournament. It is an experience meeting so many teams in a different part of Africa. Also, gauging ourselves against Rwanda whom we play shortly in the Group stage of CHAN was a great opportunity. We have studied the team now.”
Three of Libya’s management men on the bench, from left: Hussein A Hussein Alfraites, Mohamed Adelmonaem Mohamed Saleh and Khalifa Giuma Al Enajmi. Photo/MPHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
On Thursday it was a do-or-die to remain in the competition for the pointless Rwanda and a test for Libya to press for qualification. The goalless draw killed off the Amavubi hopes and badly dented Libyan hopes of progress.
Justin Mico was a constant threat to the Libyan defense and his 25th minute was blocked by ‘keeper Ali Shniena, before his rebound hit the woodwork.
Breaking on the counter, Libya’s Muftah Taktak, who started on the bench in the game against Kenya, had his attempt stopped by Eric Ndayishimiye in the Amavubi goal just before the halftime break.
Anxious moments for this Rwanda Amavubi fan at Kenyatta Stadium on Tuesday as her team stumbled 1-3 against Zanzibar. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Mohammed Tubal saw his shot hit the side net two minutes into the second half having left his Rwandan marker for dead.
Mico had another opportunity to redeem himself and Rwanda in the 63rd minute, but his bicycle kick was picked by Shniena. The last 10 minutes saw both sides go in search of the winner but to little success.
RWANDA – 1 Eric Ndayishimiye: 17 Thierry Manzi, 15 Faustin Usengimana, 22 Soter Kayumba, 14 Eric Iradukunda, 6 Yannick Mukunzi, 4 Djihad Bizimana, 20 Eric Rutanga, 2 Djabel Manishimwe, 12 Justin Mico, 7 Abeddy Biramahire
Reserves – 18 Marcel Nzorora (gk), 23 Yves Kimenyi (gk); 9 Ali Mbogo, 13 Fitina Omborenga, 8 Ally Miyonzima, 21 Olivier Niyonzima, 10 Muhadjiri Hakizimana, 5 Amran Nshiyimana, 10 Innocent Nshuti, 11 Maxime Srkamana, 16 Herve Rugwiro
Coach: Antoine Hey (Germany)
LIBYA – 12 Ali Shniena: 4 Saed Ajbarah, 5 Tariq Aljamal, 3 Sebbou Motasem, 13 Ali Maaetouq, 18 Faisal Albadri (captain), 16 Mohamed Amhimmid, 11 Tariq Muftah, 7 Mohamed Tubal, 10 Zakaria Alharaish, 19 Saeid Taher Saleh
Reserves – 22 Ahmed Azzaqah (gk), 1 Abdullah Fathi (gk); 2 Taher Elbarasi, 8 Suhib Shafshuf, 6 Mohamed Aleyat, 14 Muhama Madeen, 9 Khalid Almaryam, 17 Mohamed Amer, 15 Ahmed Eltribi
Coach: Omar Elmaryami (Libya)
Ibrahim Hamad Ahmada of Zanzibar Heroes celebrates his equalising goal against Tanzania Mainland at Kenyatta Stadium Thursday. Zanzibar went on to win. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Tanzania Mainland 1-2 Zanzibar ‘A’
Zanzibar started delightfully, albeit their younger and smaller players having to withstand the crunching body contacts of their bigger and better conditioned compatriots, Tanzania Mainland’s Kilimanjaro Stars.
And Zanzibar had to survive their enthusiasm being shaken, going a goal down when experienced (United Tanzania’s Taifa Stars) Himid Mao Mkami, the Mainland skipper fired his side ahead in the 29th minute. From the right edge of the 18-yard box, Mao picked his spot, to the far left and beat the Zanzibar goalie via the upright post.
But in the second half , masterpiece goals from the work of substitute Kassim Suleiman (67th minute) and Ibrahim Abdalla Hamad gave the Zanzibar Heroes the crucial win that sailed them top of the Group ‘A’ table with six points.
Zanzibar captain Suleiman Kassim Suleiman in action against Tanzania Mainland at Kenyatta Stadium on Thursday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Zanzibar had a better start and would have taken the lead in the 16th minute, but Ibrahim Ahmada failed to convert Issa Juma’s precise cross from the right flank.
Mainland were forced to make an early change after the veteran Kelvin Yondan was stretchered off the pitch with an ankle injury, Boniface Maganga replacing him. In the 21st minute, Zanzibar’s Hamad’s hard shot from close range was easily picked by Aish Manula in the Kilimanjaro Stars’ goal.
From Zanzibar’s efforts to keep pushing for an opener, Mainland punished them on the counter, the Kilimanjaro Stars’ skipper Mao delivering the shocker.
Himid Mao Mkami celebrates giving Tanzania Mainland a 1-0 lead but which later cancelled by Zanzibar who won 2-0 at Kenyatta Stadium on Thursday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
But Zanzibar refused to fold up, kept chasing the equaliser and maintained the momentum after resumption from the break. Ibrahim Abdalla Hamad first failed to beat Manula in a one-on-one situation in the 58th minute, before the Heroes leveled in the 67th minute through substitute Kassim Suleiman. Suleiman, who scored earlier against Rwanda, had replaced Mudathir Yahya Abass in the 59th minute.
Zanzibar’s desire and unending surge continued in the second half resulting in the winner in the 79th minute through Ibrahim Abdalla Hamad, who finished off a precise cross from Suleiman. The Heroes then survived Mainland’s pressure to the end for the thrilling win.
Said a satisfied Zanzibar Heroes coach Hemed “Morocco” Suleiman Ali: “The first half was a bit difficult for us but we came back psychologically upright to fight for the three points in the second half. The boys played to instructions and ensured they converted the chances created.”
Kassim Suleiman Khamis after scoring the winner in the their 2-1 victory over Tanzania Mainland in Machakos on Thursday. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
Mainland’s Ammy Conrad Ninje was and angry man: “Congratulations to Zanzibar, they had courage and the heart; that won it for them. My men did not exert themselves against an opponent who was obviously talented and hungry to win. I am angry with my players; skill and reputation alone does not win matches. Fight does it.”
He added: “We started well but the boys didn’t show the kind of desire and character like the opponents, especially in the second half. Football is not about skills, but the spirit and efforts you put in.”
TANZANIA MAINLAND – 18 Aish Salum Manula: 4 Erasto Edward Nyoni, 2 Gadiel Michael Kamagi, 6 Kennedy Wilson Juma, 5 Kelvin Patrick Yondani, 8 Abdalla Khamis Riziki, 7 Himid Mao Mkami, 19 Yassin Said Mzamiru, 12 Elias Mrugau Maguri, 9 Daniel Reuben Lyanga, 16 Ramadhan Yahya Shiza
Reserves – 1 Peter Manyika (gk); 22 Ramadhan Kambwili (gk); 3 Boniphace Marcio Maganga, 14 Mohamed Hussein, 20 Jonas Gellard Mkude, 10 Ibrahim Ajib Migomba, 15 Raphael Daud Loth, 13 Hilary Abdul Hassan, 21 Zayd Yahya Omary, 11 Oscar Yohana Mokomola, 23 Peter Aman Kyata
Coach: Ammy Conrad Ninje (Tanzania)
Critical: Ammy Conrad Ninje the Tanzania Mainland coach unhappily yells to his players during their match with Zanzibar on Thursday at Kenyatta Stadium. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN/sports-pot.com
ZANZIBAR: 18 Mohamed Abdurahman: 15. Ibrahim Mohamed Said. 16 Haji Mininya Mngwali, 13 Abdalla Salum Kheri, 8 Issa Haidari Dau, 21 Hassan Abdul-Azizi Makame, 10 Muhamad Issa Juma, 4 Mudathir Yahya Abass (captain)/ 7 Suleiman Kassim Suleiman, 17 Ibrahim Ahmad Hamad, 3 Feisal Salum Abdalla, 9 Hamad Mshamata Makame
Reserves – 1 Ahmed Ali Suleiman (gk), 20 Ahmed Seif Adeyum, 5 Abdalla Haj Shaib, 2 Ibrahim Abdalla Hamad, 19 Kassim Suleiman Khamis, 12 Seif Abdalla Rashid, 14 Mohamed Suleiman Amour, 28 Khamis Mussa Makame, 22 Abdul-Samad Kassim Ali
Coach: Mohamed “Morocco” Suleiman Ali (Zanzibar)
Ethiopia 1-4 Burundi ‘B’
At Bukhungu Burundi Swallows who had earlier tied 0-0 with defending champions Uganda opened the scoring via Pierre Kwizera, before Dukele Dawa equalised for Ethiopia. Burundi’s second goals were scored by second half substitute Cedric Urasenga, Laudit Mavugo and Shassir Nahimana.
Following the victory, Burundi moved to top of the table with four points, Ethiopia are in the second position with three points and champions Uganda are third with one point. South Sudan are at the bottom with no point.
Burundi’s Shassir Nahimana (left) tussles with Ethiopia’s Kelbore Ete Biruk during their Challenge Cup Group ‘B’ match at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County on Thursday. Burundi won 4-1. Photo/Courtesy Correspondent
Burundi coach Olivier Niyungeko said they deserved the victory as his boys played extremely well. “They followed my instructions to the letter and this yielded the three points.”
His Ethiopian opposite Ashenafi Bekele said he would improve on the areas that made them concede the goals.
Of the defeat he said: “That is how a match can be at times. I will work on areas that let us down,” he noted. Ethiopia must beat Uganda (on paper a difficult task) on Sunday to make sure of semi final qualification.
Burundi took the lead in the 34th minute, when Kwizera outplayed Bune Butako, to beat Ethiopia’s custodian Tarik Alemu. Ethiopia fought back and Abel Tilahun’s header just sailed past Burundi goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana in the 38th minute. Dawa equalised for Ethiopia in the 45th minute after he received a left wing cross from Ete Biruk.
Burundi’s Abdoul Fiston (right) in action against Uganda in their Challenge Cup Group ‘B’ match at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega on Monday. The teams drew 0-0. Photo/Courtesy Correspondent
After the breather, Burundi upped their game, launching relentless attacks which finally bore fruit as Urasenga scored their second in the 53rd minute.
Ethiopia’s Henok Gerba fouled Hussein Shaban in the box, the referee giving the penalty which Mavugo converted in the 67th minute. Shassir Nahimana killed off the match with a 77th minute screamer from the box to seal the fate of the Ethiopians.
ETHIOPIA – 23 Getinet Tariku ALEMU; 4 Abebaw Bune BUTAKO (captain), 2 Henok Adugan GERBA, 19 Girma Bekele DEBELE, 15 Kastro Amaye TEMESGEN, 8 Kelbore Biruk ETE, 20 Samson Alemu TILAHUN, 18 Abedrahman SORURE, 3 Abubeker Sani Abdela SANI, 11 Hatessa Dawa DUKELE, 9 Abel Yalew TILAHUN
Reserves – 1 Amare Bereket KIDANU, 12 Shanko Timariam BALCHA, 13 Abebe Feyissa TILAHUN, 14 Tediros Meta BEKELE, 16 Amsalu Telahun MKUNTE, 10 Adis Giday GABRU, 14 Selemon Firew AYELE, 6 Kenean Markine MELEKO, 21 Tesfaye Gebre ALBRACHEW, 22 Amanuel AREGAWI, 7 Endale Kena KEBEDE, 17 Tsegaye Birhanu DANA
Coach: Ashenafi BEKELE (Ethiopia)
BURUNDI – 1 Jonathan NAHIMANA: 4 Pierre KWIZERA (captain), 3 Leon Rachid HERERIMANA, 2 Tresor NDIKUMANA, 6 David NSIMIRIMANA, 15 Gael DUHAYINDAVYI, 10 Shassir NAHIMANA, 11 Hussein SHABAN, 9 Laudit MAVUGO, Moussa Haphizi HERIMANA, 20 McArthur ARAKAZA (gk), 18 Onesime RUKUNDO (gk); 13 Steve NAHIMANA, 14 Youssuf NDAYISHIMIYE, 19 Bienvenue SHAKA, 16 Moussa MOSSI, 17 Cedric URASENGA, 12 Eric NDORIYOBIJA, 7 Abdoul FISTON
Coach: Olivier A NIYUNGEKO (Burundi)
Referee: Anthony Ogwayo (Kenya)
Assistant ref: Joshua Achila (Kenya)
Asst ref: Tony Kidiya (Kenya)
4th official: Peter Waweru (Kenya)
Match commissioner: Rogers Byamukama (Uganda)
-Additional reporting from Correspondents and Cecafa Media