Azam in maiden test of Africa football giants

HOLDERS Azam face litmus test tomorrow as they take on African giants TP Mazembe in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 2019 CECAFA Kagame Cup in Kigali, Rwanda.

Azam recorded a goalless draw against Kenyan side Bandari FC on Friday which consequently see the latter being eliminated from the tournament.

The defending champions won one match (1-0) against Mukura Victory Sports, lost 1-0 to Kampala City and drew their third battle against Bandari FC to book their slot into the last eight.

On the other hand, Mazembe triumphed in two games of their three matches, losing 1-0 to Rayon Sports before registering two back to back wins against KMC (1-0) and a massive 6-1 thrashing of Atlabara FC.

However, debutants KMC who also represented the country in the competition were bundled out despite their 1-0 victory over Rayon Sports on Saturday.

The Kinondoni based club were exclusively using the contest to shape up their squad as they prepare for busy schedule which will see them trading in the Mainland Premier League, CAF Confederation Cup and Azam Sports Federation Cup (ASFC) in that order.

Under the tutelage of Head Coach Jackson Mayanja, KMC will need to put themselves together before the commencement of the top flight league to continue their last season’s impressive form which saw them finishing fourth on the table. In another quarter final encounters, Gor Mahia will face Zambia’s Green Eagles in Kigali on Wednesday.

With this results, Gor finished their group stage matches with nine points from three matches against KMKM, DR Congo’s AS Maniema and Djibouti’s AS Port.

This is after the Kenyan champions completed an impressive clean sweep in Group ‘D’ on Sunday with a win over 10-man Kikosi Maalum Cha Kuzuia Magendo from Zanzibar.

The match ended 1-0, with Eric Ombija scoring the only goal. He headed home a Hashim Sempala cross past KMKM keeper Nassor Abdalla who had impressed throughout the game.

Only APR in Group ‘C’ out of the 16 teams competing in this tournament, have managed to win all its pool engagements. KMKM finished last with no point from as many games in the group, and are eliminated. In other quarter-finals matches, Rwandan champions Rayon Sport will play Uganda’s KCCA.

Rwandan Army club APR will face either DR Congo’s AS Maniema or Djibouti’s AS Port. The CECAFA Club Cup is a football club tournament organised by CECAFA.

It has been known as the Kagame Interclub Cup since 2002, when Rwandan President Paul Kagame began sponsoring the competition. It is contested by clubs from East and Central Africa.

The tournament began in 1967, in which Abaluhya came out champions, but was not officially recognised.

The competition was halted until 1974, where Simba of Tanzania became the first official champions of the tournament.

Former Manchester United Jose ...

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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