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It’s Azam vs Maniema in Kagame Cup semis

REIGNING champions Azam FC will face guest side AS Maniema Union from DR Congo in the semi-final round of the CECAFA Kagame Cup 2019 Tournament today.

To reach the last four, Azam knocked out TP Mazembe from DR Congo, following a 2-1 win in the quarter-final match at the Stade de Kigali Stadium in Rwanda on Tuesday.

Azam came from behind to win the match and reached the semifinal of the annual tournament as they seek to win the third straight title. Goals from Iddi Selemani and Obrey Chirwa canceled out Ipamy Giovani opener for TP Mazembe, top give Azam a historic victory over the Congolese giants.

The ‘ice cream makers’ became the first Tanzanian team to get victory over the Congolese giants, who have always been a dominant side against the likes of Simba and Young Africans. In another semifinal clash also set for today, Ugandan side KCCA FC will take on Green Eagles of Zambia.

The semi-final round pairing was complete after the final quarter-final match day was played on Wednesday at Stade de Kigali. Three-time champions Rwanda’s APR FC faced a disappointing exit as they bowed out 3-4 on penalties after a goalless draw in regular 90 minutes.

The military side had better opportunities but poor finishing from Sugira Ernest and Byiringiro Lague could not enable them break the solid AS Maniema Union who are managed by former TP Mazembe defender Guy Basisila Lusadisu.

AS Maniema Union had also a few chances with Likwela Yelemaya Denis and Kilangalanga Pame Glody testing APR FC new signing goalie Rwabugiri Omar but the former Mukura VS goalie made superb saves.

With a goalless draw in normal time, penalties had employed to determine the winner with AS Maniema Union winning 4-3 to send out APR FC and book their maiden semi-final round ticket on their debutant CECAFA Kagame Cup Tournament.

In an earlier game, Gor Mahia was knocked out of CECAFA Kagame Cup following a 2-1 defeat in the hands of Zambia side Green Eagles.

Seeking a fourth CECAFA title, K’Ogalo started the match in the right foot, taking the lead inside the second minute after forward Nicholas Kipkirui nodded home.

However, Eagles drew level five minutes later thanks to Tapson Kaseba’s strike. The match ended with a 1-1 scoreline in the first half despite both sides creating a number of chances. After the restart of the second half, Hassan Oktay’s men went close to restoring their lead as Kipkirui was put through, one on one with the keeper but failed to capitalize on the chance.

Eagles turned the tables as Shadrack Mulungwe scored the second for the Zambian side, a goal which was enough to see the Green Army beaten. In the first semi-final match today, reigning champions Azam FC will face AS Maniema Union while KCCA will take on Green Eagles FC in the second semi-final at Stade de Kigali.

Courtesy of President Paul Kagame’s support to the annual regional tournament, winners will pocket $30,000 (Rwf.27 million) in prize money, beaten finalists bag $20,000 (Rwf.18 million) while the second runners-up will walk away with $10,000 (Rwf.9 million), respectively.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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