Zanzibar upset neighbours and rivals Tanzania to secure a fine 3rd-place finish at the CECAFA Cup after more penalty drama.
These sides met at the same stage in 2009 with the islanders winning 1-0, but it was the FIFA member who struck first this time when Mwinyi Kazimoto blasted his shot beyond deputy goalkeeper Rashid Abdalla in the 19th minute. After a nervy start Zanzibar grew in confidence and Hamad Omar headed wide in the 34th minute before captain Nadir Haroub missed the target after some poor Tanzanian defending inside the box. After the break defender Nuhu Hiji shot wide but it was the Tanzanians who came close in the 67th minute when striker John Bocco saw his header come back off the post. With the game petering out Zanzibar produced an equaliser from nowhere in the 86th minute, with substitute Abdalla Othman tucking home after Juma Kaseja could only parry Khamis Mcha’s effort. The game went to penalties and when Kazimoto hit the post it seemed the islanders had the upper-hand. However defender Massoud Said blazed his effort over and the shootout eventually went to sudden death. When Kevin Yodan missed for Tanzania Sabri Makame kept his cool to secure the 3rd-place finish for Zanzibar.
Whilst they will be disappointed with their penalty exit to Kenya in the semi-finals the Zanzibari’s had punched above their wait to reach the last 4. They also secured $10,000 prize money for finishing 3rd which will be much appreciated for the cash-strapped non-FIFA side. Their next outing will most likely be the CECAFA Cup next year, a long wait for a young and talented team.
Match information –
Score: Tanzania 1 – 1 Zanzibar* (5-6 pens)
Goals: Tanzania – Mwinji Kazimoto 19’. Zanzibar – Abdalla Othman 86’.
Zanzibar XI: R.Abdalla; Haroub, Said, Haji, Morris; Makame, Kassim [Ally 78’], Mcha, Juma [Omar 32’], Gulam [Othman 74’]; S.Abdalla.