TP Mazembe striker Thomas Ulimwengu, scored the first for Ngorongoro Heroes on the 15th minute, before Simba SC winger Ramadhani Singano, added the second five minutes later. Heroes enjoyed a great support from handful of home fans that turned up to witness the match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday and the Kim Poulsen’s boys led 2-0 at the breather.
The hosts led by muscular striker Thomas Ulimwengu, started the second half forcefully and missed two clear chances on the 52nd and 53rd minutes. The first saw Ulimwengu make a powerful run down the right and floated in a good cross that however, went begging.
Ngorongoro Heroes forwards then executed a nice one two, but failed to finish off the move inside Sudan’s box. They continued to push forward and added the third goal through striker Simon Msuva, who slotted the ball home from inside the box to connect a corner kick from the right.
Msuva ought to have notched the fourth for Heroes on the 81st minute, when he was released inside the box but opted to pass on to his team mate, who was disappointingly dispossessed. Despite trailing 3-0, Sudan did not lose hope and they had two
good attempts during the closing stages.
The visitors continued putting pressure on Ngorongoro Heroes’ goal and their effort paid off a minute before the final whistle, when striker Sharafeldin Shaiboub, headed in the consolation off a cross from the right. Heroes survived yet another scare during the extra time, when the visitors pressured again but the latter failed to exploit the chance.
The local boys now need a draw of any kind or a defeat of less that two clear goals in the return leg clash taking place in Khartoum, Sudan two weeks later to sail through into the next round. Should the Tanzanian youngsters manoeuvre their way past Sudan, the task ahead looks even tougher as they face a potential second round clash with West African soccer giants, Nigeria.
Nonetheless, this is yet another opportunity for Ngorongoro Heroes to try and go a step further having been eliminated in the second round of the 2010 qualifiers by Ivory Coast. Despite showing some industrious football during the campaign, the Heroes saw their hopes of reaching the first African finals going up on smoke after settling to a 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast in their return leg match in August 2010.
The team had conceded a 1-0 defeat away in Abidjan in a first leg tie, and was in need of nothing short of a clear victory against the ‘Junior Elephants’ at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, but failed to live to their billing.