TANZANIA’S Under- 23 team sailed to the quarter final stage of 2021 CECAFA Youth Challenge Cup following their 1-0 victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the Bahri Dar International Stadium in Ethiopia yesterday.
The national youth hero was Reliant Lusajo who netted the winner in the 69th minute of the game, completing a set piece created by Nickson Kibabage, who skillfully rounded two DRC defenders before he stretched the ball to the scorer.
Following the victory, Tanzania has claimed the group A’s top position with three points, followed by Uganda, who have bagged one point similarly to DRC who have been pushed to the third place on goal difference.
Despite the victory that Tanzania bagged, both sides displayed quality game. DRC players looked superior physically, but Tanzania won due to defending discipline.
The strength and body physiques of DRC were a major advantage in their ball possession, especially in the middle of the terrain.
Tanzanian’s solid defence and outstanding goalkeeping from Metacha Mnata calmed numerous attempts that DRC created.
For instance, Abdulrazak Mohamed blocked the DRC move in the 50th minute of the game while Metacha successful saved his team from conceding two goals in the 54th and 74th minutes of the game.
Although Tanzania had a few attempts compared to DRC, most of their attempts were close to pocket goals.
Among the efforts made included that of Meshack Abraham whose shot in the 44th minute but was saved by DRC goalie. Andrew Simchimba attempted to double for Tanzania in the 78th minute, but it was also saved.
The Tanzania squad included goalkeeper Metacha Mnata, defender Israel Mwenda, Nickson Kibabage, Lusajo Mwaikenda and Sospeter Israel.
The midfield was marshaled by Meshack Abraham, Reliant Lusajo, Kelvin Nashon and Pascal Gaudence while strikers were Abdulrazak Mohamed and Yusuph Mhilu. The Tanzanian team was under Kim Poulsen and Shadrack Nsajigwa.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) faced Uganda on their first encounter and the match ended on a barren draw at the same Bahri Dar International Stadium last Sunday. Uganda face their traditional rivals Tanzania on Sunday, July 25th 2021.
Meanwhile, Kenya have taken a command of Pool C following their 2-0 victory over South Sudan yesterday and that came after their 3-0 win over Djibouti.
After yesterday’s encounter, Kenya banked six points while South Sudan will face Djibouti in their last meeting to see who deserves the second place. In Pool B, Burundi are at the top with three points and three goals, while Ethiopia are second-placed and Eritrea are at the bottom.
Burundi won their opening match by beating Eritrea 3-0, who previously drew 3-3 with host Ethiopia.
Both games are staged at Bahir Dar International Stadium in Ethiopia. Eritrea have completed their group game; they wait for the results between Burundi and Ethiopia tomorrow to see their fate.