Defending champions Tanzania Mainland (Kilimanjaro Stars) beat Malawi (The Flames) 1-0 in this year’s Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Tusker Challenge Cup quarterfinal match played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Midfielder Nurdin Bakari scored the goal that turned out to be the winner in the 36th minute when he released a powerful low shoot from inside the box that gave The Flames’ goalkeeper Charles Chiwi no chance.
Kilimanjaro Stars now will face The Uganda Cranes in the second semi final to be played tomorrow at the National Stadium at 4pm.
The Cranes won 1-0 against Zimbabwe in the first quarterfinal played earlier yesterday.
In the first semi final, also to be played tomorrow and at the same stadium, Sudan will meet Rwanda at 2pm.
Kilimanjaro Stars played well and deserved to win with more than two goals but were let down by their strikers.
Hussein Javu missed a good chance to score in the 10th minute when he shot wide from the edge of the box..
In the 21st minute goalkeeper Chiwi denied Kilimanjaro Stars the clear lead when he punched out Shomari Kapombe’s cross from the right flank.
Stars wasted other good chances in the 47th and 60th minutes in the match that witnessed the home boys playing fantastic soccer compared to their three matches in the group stage.
However, speaking after the game, The Flame head coach Kina Phiri said the match was spoiled by the referee Munyemana Hudu from Rwanda.
Phiri said they knew from the begging that the referee was on the other side and he was very poor.
When asked if Kilimanjaro Stars deserved to win, the Malawi tactician said: “No, they didn’t deserve to win and I don’t think they will pass against Uganda.”
On his side, Kilimanjaro Stars head coach Charles Boniface Mkwasa said they have good team and that is why they conceded few goals in the tournament.
“I’m sure we’ll reach far in this tournament. Uganda is a good side and the semi final will be a tough one,” said Mkwasa.
Kilimanjaro Stars Line-up:
Juma Kaseja, Shomari Kapombe, Juma Jabu, Erasto Nyoni, Juma Nyosso, Mwinyi Kazimoto/Mussa Hassan (90), Shaban Nditi, Ramadhani Chombo, Nurdin Bakari, Mrisho Ngasa, Hussein Javu/Thomas Ulimwengu (66).