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Yanga getting close to defending Cecafa title


URA 1 APR 2, Mafunzo 1 (3) Yanga 1 (5)


Atletico Vs Vita Club (2:00pm), Azam Vs Simba (4:00pm)

Yanga players including Hamis Kiiza (3rd from left) celebrating their victory against Mafunzo on Monday.

Defending Champions Yanga SC from Tanzania mainland played a 1-all draw game against Mafunzo of Zanzibar in the second quarter final of the Cecafa-Kagame club championship but later qualified for the semi finals after a 5-3 spot kick result.

Yanga trailed 1-0 in the first half before new signing Said Bahanuz scored an equalizer in the early minutes of the second half to level with AS Vita’s striker Taddy Eddiema at five goals each. Mafunzo’s goal was scored by Ali Othman Mmanga in the 34th minute.

In the first quarter final, Uganda’s representatives URA FC were edged 2-1, a result that denied them a slot in the semi finals. The Rwandese army side took an early lead in the 9th minute when Iranzi Jean Claude had a perfect finishing on a cross from team Captain Olivier Karekezi. Suleiman Ndikumana stretched the first half lead to 2-0 in the 34th minute.

URA’s head coach Alex Isabirye said his boys seemingly accorded a respect to the opponents and ‘woke up’ late to fight for the win. Their efforts however yielded results in the 57th minute when Robert Ssentongo pulled back one goal but his would be equalizer hit the post in the 3rd minute of the added time.

The Rwandese Dutch tactician, Ernest Brandy was all smiles after the game saying that his chances to play in the finals were now brighter after exiting a team that looked to be the title favourites of the tournament. URA was the only club that collected maximum points from their group stage matches after beating hosts Simba 2-0, AS Vita club 3-1 and Ports 3-1 to top group ‘A’.

This Tuesday, visiting Vita Club takes on the tricky Atletico from Burundi at 2:00pm before homeboys Simba SC play Azam in a derby of the last quarter finals. Simba and Azam last met about a week ago when they clashed in the ‘Rafiki’ cup with Simba taking the day on sport kicks after fighting to a 1-all draw in the normal time.

Cecafa General Secretary Nicholas Musonye said that if Simba joins Yanga to have two home teams in the semis, the semi final matches will be played on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. In case of a draw in the normal time, extra time will be added before the sport kicks.

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