Zanzibar had to come from a goal down to beat their neighbors Tanzania 2-1 in the two sides' CECAFA Senior Challenge clash on Thursday 7 December at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Having picked a point from Libya in their opening fixture, Tanzania's Kilimajaro Stars needed a win to keep alive their chances of advancing to the knockout phases, while Zanzibar went to the game on a high, after a win over 2015 runners up Rwanda.
Newly appointed Tanzania coach Ammy Ninje was forced to an early substitution with Kelvin Yondani stretchered off after getting injured. Zanzibar Heroes dominated proceedings in the first 20 minutes stringing decent passes but failed to capitalize on their chances in the final third. They were made to rue their missed chances in the 28th minute when skipper Himid Mao fired Tanzania one up with a well taken volley.
Tanzania started the second half looking to double their lead and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but a lack of creativity wast heir biggest undoing in front of goal.
Zanzibar skipper Mudhathir Yahya missed a sitter when one on one with the goalkeeper and he was immediately subbed and on came Kassim Khamis who scored a goal off the bench in the game against Rwanda. It didn’t take long for Khamis to announce himself on the pitch, rifling the ball into the far right corner to level matters in the 66th minute. Zanzibar sat back and pounced on a counter attack chance with 12 minutes left on the clock, Ibrahim Ahmada tapping in the easiest of goals to give The Heroes the lead.
Top of the group
Zanzibar now top Group A after winning two and drawing one in their three games in the tournament and are closely followed by hosts Kenya on four points from two matches.
Tanzania have an uphill task in the bid to qualify for the knockout phases of the competition having picked up just one point and scored a single goal in the tournament. They face Kenya in their next game.