Warriors shine over Kili Stars
Zimbabwe turned on the style to stun champions Tanzania 2-1 on Saturday to qualify for the last eight of this year’s Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup in Dar es Salaam.
The Warriors needed atleast a draw to make the quarters and they responded in emphatic fashion taking an early lead on the way to victory at the National Stadium.
For the champions, their chances of progress were hanging by a thread until Mwinyi Kazi Moto pulled a goal back two minutes from time to ensure that Kilimanjaro Stars qualified as one of the best losers.
Donald Ngoma put Zimbabwe ahead one minute into the game smashing the ball home from ten yards after the hosts had failed to clear the ball in the danger zone.
They made it 2-0 on 11 minutes in fortuitous circumstances as Said Maulid’s clearance off a corner hit his teammate and cannoned back into the net.
The early set back rocked the Stars and they spent the rest of the half struggling to get their rhythm back.
They were much better in the second half but had to wait till ten minutes from time when Ramadhan Chombo tested Warriors keeper George Chigova.
They got the goal that ensured that they would win a place as one of the best losers two minutes from time when Mrisho Ngasa went down on the edge of the box with referee Davies Omweno pointing to the spot.
Kazi Moto stepped up to score much to the relief of thousands of fans in the stadium.
“I am happy because we are the home team and we have made it to the knockout stages. Conceding early goals disrupted our rhythm but we fought back in the second half. We shall work hard in the quarters to ensure that we do not make elementary mistakes like we did today,” Coach Charles Mkwasa said after the final whistle.
Zimbabwean coach Norman Mapeza was delighted with his charges, “Scoring early worked for us and we are happy to reach our target which was the quarters. We need to work harder at regaining ball possession because our reaction when we lose the ball is not good enough and we need to improve on that.”