Charles Thuku and Fred Likuynai @PeopleSports11
Zanzibar, champions in 1995, inched closer to the semi finals of the 39th edition of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup Championships after a shock 2-1 win over their sister nation Tanzania in a Group “A’ match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos yesterday.
In an encounter of the same group, Libya and Rwanda settled for a barren draw with both teams having slim chances of making it to the last four stage. Zanzibar Heroes’ victory over the Kilimanjaro Stars saw them take the lead in the group with six points followed by Kenya’s Harambee Stars who have amassed four points thus far in the campaign.
Libya, Rwanda and Tanzania have a point each Tanzania had taken a first half lead through Himid Mao Mkami before the resurgent Zanzibar replied with goals by Seleiman Khamis (62nd minute) and Kasim Suleiman Selembe (77th minute) Zanzibar were quicker off the blocks with slick passing but it was Tanzania who drew first blood in the 28th minute when Mao cashed in on lack of concentration by the Heroes to unleash a shot which ricocheted off the post before the ball landed into the net.
Before then, Zanzibar looked hungrier of the two teams for goals with Mudathir Yahya and Kassim Suleiman Selembe causing all sorts of problems to Kilimanjaro Stars’ defence.
Twice, in the 14th and 21st minutes, Selembe prised open the Kilimanjaro backline but with only goalkeeper Aishi Manula to beat, he fumbled with the attempts. In Kakamega, Group “B” favourites Ethiopia were stunned by an energised Burundi who humbled them 4-1 to go to the summit of the log with four points.
Burundi deployed Shaban Hussein and Herimana Moussa on the flanks and they were key in disrupting Ethiopia’s game plan as they shutting out their wing backs.
Captain Pierre Kwizerra put Burundi ahead after 30 minutes via a brilliant free kick from the edge of the box before the four-time champions equalised at the stroke of half-time through Dukele Dawa Hetessa.
Hatessa scored from the spot after he was brought down in the area by Ndikumana Tresor. After the interval, Burundi dominated the match and it was not a surprise when substitute Cedrick Urasenga scored the second goal with a long range effort in the 53rd minute.
Further goals were converted by Laudit Mavugo, who also scored from the penalty spot, after Shaban Hussein was hacked inside the area by Gerba Henok and Shassir Nahimana in 77th minute.