Zanzibar freeze Mainland
Zanzibar Heroes ended the 33rd edition of Challenge Cup championship in third place after dispatching Kilimanjaro Stars by a lone goal in a classification match that preceded the final at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi yesterday.
It was Abdi Kassim who silenced the pompous Mainland side with a second half cracker after the teams deadlocked up to half time mark.
Kassim unleashed a power-packed shot that sailed straight into the net past stunned goalkeeper Muharami Mohamed after 69 minutes.
Mainland had all the time to respond to Zanzibar’s shocking lead but it was the Heroes who were shining on the field with intricate passes.
Coach Marcio Maximo introduced Henry Joseph soon after Zanzibar went ahead but the changes would not stop the determined Isles side to excel in the match.
Abdul Ali came close to add another goal soon after the opener but his shot sailed over the crossbar much to the relief of Maximo’s trained boys.
Ali was a constant menace to Kilimanjaro Stars goal always keeping its defence under pressure.
Heroes intensified attacks on the Mainland goal with Abdulhalim Hamoud missing a golden opportunity to increase the tally nine minutes to time.
The sweet revenge has earned Zanzibar a cash prize of $10,000 while Kilimanjaro Stars are returning home empty handed.
Mainland team had beaten the Zanzibar side by a lone goal during the preliminary Group C matches at Mumias Sugar Complex a fortnight ago.
Zanzibar won the Challenge Cup title for the first and last time in 1995 in Kampala while Mainland team managed twice in 1974 and twenty years later.
Kilimanjaro Stars: Muharami Mohammed, Shadrack Nsajigwa, Juma Jabu, David Naftali, Salum
Swedi, Juma Nyoso, Ibrahim Mwaipopo/Jerry Tegete (46th), Mrisho Ngassa, John Bocco/Mussa Mgosi (46th), Nurdin Bakari/ Henry Joseph (70th) and Kigi Makasi.
Coach: Marcio Maximo
Mwadini Ali, Nassor Masoud, Aggrey Morris, Sadik Rajab, Nadir Haroub, Abdullah Ali/-Khamis Khamis (89th), Abdulghan Abdullah / Mohammed Hamdoun (dk 46th), Abdulhalim Amour, Abdi Kassim, Suleiman Kassim na Haji Ramadhani / Ahmed Mohammed ( 77th).
Coach: Hemed Morocco
Referee: Ali Kalyango (Uganda)