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Tanzania beat Zanzibar, move closer to semis

Tanzania striker Ditram Nchimbi is joined by teammates Hassan Dilunga and David Mapigano in celebrating his goal against Zanzibar during their CECAFA Senior Challenge Group B match at the Lugogo Arena on December 10, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 10 – Zanzibar must now beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars on Saturday to qualify for the semi-finals of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after losing 1-0 to rivals Tanzania in their second group match at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala on Tuesday.

Ditram Nchimbi scored the lone goal for the Tanzanians to enhance their chance of making it to the last four. They will qualify for the semis on Saturday if they beat Sudan in their final group match regardless of the result Zanzibar posts against Kenya.

Sudan are also on one point and have a chance of qualifying. With victory, they can progress to the last four if Zanzibar fail to get victory against Kenya.

“I am happy with how we responded after losing the first game and today we were better. We played as a unit and that’s why we won. Now we focus on Sudan to get a win and confirm our place in the semis,” Tanzania coach Juma Mgunda said after the match.

Nchimbi scored the lone goal in the 38th minute after reacting to a spilled ball when Zanzibar keeper Suleiman Ahmed punched a cross from Athumani Miraji back into play.

Tanzania defender Bakari Mwamnyeto vies for the ball with Zanzibar’s Haji Mngwali during their CECAFA Senior Challenge Group B match at the Lugogo Arena on December 10, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Even before the goal, Tanzania had some good chances to score with Miraji headed just over from a Gadiel Michael cross while Jonas Mkude saw his shot from range fly inches over the bar.

Zanzibar stepped up in the second half and had a chance when Abdul Aziz Makame connected to a Mwinyi Mngwali freekick from the right, but the effort flew straight into keeper Aishi Manula’s arms.

On a counter, Tanzania had a chance when Miraji released Nchimbi through on goal, but the latter’s effort was saved by the keeper who sped off his line to narrow the gap.

Hamis Suleiman had two chances for the islanders, first his shot from the edge of the box being deflected for a corner while another effort also from distance went straight into Manula’s arms.

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