Tanzania defeats Somalia in tight Cecafa encounter
Tanzanian secured a hard-earned 1-0 win over Somalia courtesy of Athuman Chanongo who came off the bench to score a contender for goal of the tournament in a Group B Cecafa Senior Challenge match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.
Athuman needed just five minutes on the pitch to brilliantly drill in a rocket shot off the underside of the bar after connecting with a fine cross from the far right by Domayo Raymond.
In a contest where Somalia’s Ocean Stars gave a good account of themselves, the Kilimanjaro Stars were pressed to the limit but held strongly onto their lead aided by the good goalkeeping of shot stopper Philip Ivo Mapunda.
The Gor Mahia custodian who has made a return to the Tanzanian national football team after long stints in the cold had a great game denying the prowling Somali strikers time and again.
The Ocean Stars coached by Mohamed Abdule had the lion’s share of possession in both halves but would rue their bluntness in the final third where their preference for fancy football cost them dearly.
Sadaq Mohamed and Saleh Hussein both had good chances to slot home for Somalia in the six yard box after the interval but were denied by the hawk-eyed Mapunda who clawed their shots to safety.
In the first half, Kilimanjaro Stars could have pulled an early goal in the 22nd minute when the highly rated Mrisho Ngassa connected with an angled pass which went wide.
The Ocean Stars whose game showed remarkable improvement from the side that was walloped 7-0 by the same opposition in last year’s tournament fought hard in all departments, closing down their opponents and winning the second balls.
After missing an early first half chance, Ngassa who was a thorn in the flesh while on the right wing, came close again just ten minutes after the interval when he made a penetrating run down the right to release a fierce shot but his effort was thwarted by keeper Sherif Mohamed.
Outplayed in midfield and short of firepower upfront, Tanzania opted to fall back and catch their opponents on the break in the final quarter of the game but the imposing presence of Sherif in Somalia’s goal who on many occasions left his line to claim the ball denied them.
The win leaves Tanzania on four points from two matches after sharing the spoils with guest team Zambia in their opening match while Somalia have none after previously succumbing to a 0-2 defeat to Burundi.