Zanzibar continues fairy tale as Rwanda, Libya risk exit

By alex wafula
Dec 08, 2017
  • Rwanda's Bizimana Djihad against Libya Mohamed Amhimmid (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Libya's ALmaryami Khalid against Rwanda's Soter Kayumba (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Thierry Manzi against Libya Tubal Mohamed (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Zanzibar will only need a point against Kenya’s Harambee Stars on Saturday night to assure themselves of a slot in the semi-final of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup.

The island nation picked up their second consecutive win of the tournament by beating neighbors Tanzania 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

They came from a goal down to score twice in the second half and move top of Group A with six points.

“It is always tough against the Mainland team and today was no different. We changed tactics in the second half by keeping the ball more and that worked well for us. We now focus on Kenya which will be a tougher match but we are confident of the semis,” Zanzibar coach Suleiman Hemed said.

His Tanzanian counterpart was frustrated with his side who he accused of lacking the heart to win.

“As much as football is about playing well and keeping the ball, most of the times its about heart. Today, we lacked heart. We didn’t play like we wanted to win. Zanzibar wanted it more, they fought, they gave their all and they won. I am not happy especially with the second half,” Ammy Ninje, the Tanzania coach said.

In a late kick off, Libya and Rwanda are both staring at elimination after playing their third matches without a win. The two sides played to a 0-0 draw.

Libya have an outside chance of qualification if they beat Tanzania and Zanzibar lose to both Kenya and Rwanda.

Antoine Hey’s Rwanda have been knocked out. “We played better today but it is sad we could not score despite having many chances. What I am happy about is that we are learning and improving because this tournament is helping us prepare for CHAN,” Hey, a former Harambee Stars coach said.

Rwanda had brilliant scoring opportunities, but wasted most of them. It was Libya who knocked the door first though with Muftah Taktak finding the ball inside the box but his shot was saved by Eric Ndayishimiye in tte Rwanda goal.

Rwanda’s first chance of the game came in the 14th minute, Eric Rutanga finding space at the edge of the box but his curling effort went over.

Brilliant back to back chances

Mico Justin had three brilliant back to back chances in the 25th minute when a free kick started shot from the right was swung his way by Djihad Bizimana, but his effort was saved by the keeper.

The rebound kindly felln on his path again and he blasted it against the upright. But, he was lucky enough to have a third bite of the cherry. This time his shot flew over the bar.

On the stroke of halftime, Libya had the best chance to break the deadlock when Mohamed Amhimid swung a cross from the right picking out Taher, but the forward’s shot was saved by Ndayishimiye.

Rwanda had more chances in the second half, but still couldn’t hit the bull’s eye. Mico took an acrobatic attempt from a Djabel Manishimwe cross, but his effort was feeble, the keeper easily collecting.

Twelve minutes from time, Djihad Bizimana had a glorious opportunity when Manishimwe’s cross from the right fell well on his path but with the goalmouth at his mercy placed the ball wide.

In an early kick off, Ibrahim Hamad hit the winner in the 78th minute as Zanzibar completed their comeback against Tanzania.

Himid Mao had given the Kilimanjaro Stars a first half lead, but Kassim Suleiman leveled for Zanzibar in the 67th minute.

Mao drilled the ball home low from inside the box after an interchange of passes with Daniel Lyanga after 30 minutes of play.

Zanzibar would feel hugely undone by the goal, especially after dominating most of the play in the opening minutes.

A change in strategy by Zanzibar in the second half playing with three men upfront bore fruit as they became more dangerous.

Mudathir Yahya had a golden opportunity in the 57th minute when he was put through on goal by Hamad but he placed the ball wide with only the keeper to beat.

Ten minutes later however, his blushes were wiped. Suleiman curled the ball into the far right after outmuscling his marker to pick up Ibrahim Said’s cross from the right.

Hamad then put the game to bed with 11 minutes left with the easiest of goals, tapping into an empty net Suleiman Kassim Selembe’s cross.


December 3: Kenya 2 Rwanda 0, Libya 0 Tanzania 0;  December 4: Uganda 0 Burundi 0. December 5: Zanzibar 3 Rwanda 1, Kenya 0 Libya 0, December 7: Tanzania 1 Zanzibar 2, Rwanda 0 Libya 0, Ethiopia 1 Burundi 4.


December 8: Uganda v South Sudan (Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega - 3 p.m.); December  9: Rwanda v Tanzania (2 p.m.), Kenya v Zanzibar (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos- 4 p.m.); December 10: Ethiopia v Uganda (Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega - 3 p.m.); December 11: Libya v Zanzibar (2 p.m.), Kenya v Tanzania (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos - 4 p.m.), South Sudan v Burundi (Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega -4 p.m.); December 12/13 : Rest days; December 14/15: Semi finals - Moi Stadium, Kisumu; December 16: Rest Day: December 17: Third and fourth play-off/Final.