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Tanzania win Copa Africa Cup

Thursday December 05 2019
copa_pix

Tanzania's players celebrate their goal against Zimbabwe during their 2019 Copa Coca Cola Under 16 Africa Cup final match on December 5, 2019 at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy in Thika. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

By Lokeder Natiom

Tanzania were on Thursday crowned the 2019 Copa Coca Cola Under 16 Africa Cup champions after they outclassed Zimbabwe 6-2 in the final at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy in Thika.

A hat-trick from Julius Nyerere and a goal each from Mohammad Rai, Harouni Ndile and Boniface Raphael secured the emphatic win for Tanzania, while Zimbabwe had Inasio Perelo and Ronald Uziyaya score in the 4th and 60th minutes respectively.

Tanzania coach Abel Mtweve said the tournament was a good one and the only tough test they faced was their group stage match against South Africa.

"Looking back at the previous matches we have had a smooth run throughout. I'm glad our training has paid off and the boys stuck to our game plan and vengeance mission of taking the cup," said Mtweve.

Zimbabwean coach Mathius Mauto conceded defeat.

"Second place is not good but we used this event to better ourselves for other tournaments. Tanzania is definitely a better side compared to the other teams we played and I'm happy we got that challenge," said Mauto.

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Zimbabwe's Perelo opened the scoring session four minutes into the first half through a swift corner shot that got past Tanzania's goalkeeper Ramadhan Chuma.

The opening goal was cancelled out five minutes later by Tanzania' s striker and golden boot winner Nyerere, before putting his team in the lead with his second goal in the 15th minute through a header from a hard pass from teammate Frank Sefania.

Afterwards, Harouni Ndile picked the third goal for Tanzania in the 17th minute through a straight shot from the right side after the Zimbabwe goalkeeper assumed a pass from Mohammed Rai that saw the ball sail right into the net.

Tanzania's Rai Mohammed secured the fourth goal two minutes after Ndile's goal with a straight shot from within the box after evading a few challenges from Zimbabwe players.

The gods of football seemed to be on Nyerere's side as he completed his hat-trick with a goal in the 28th minute after finding himself alone with the keeper.

The Zimbabwean side had an opportunity to catch up with Tanzania before the end of the first half when they were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute, but their efforts fell to frustration with the tournament's most valuable player, Luke Musikiri's shot being blocked by Tanzania's goalkeeper Chuma.

Zimbabwe's woes continued in the second half when Tanzania wrapped up their scores with their sixth goal from Boniface Raphael in the 40th minute from a straight pass from Ndile.

Mauto introduced Chiwashira Alfa in place of Perelo, while Tanzania replaced Boniface Raphael with Innocent Mtoi in the 52nd and 56th minutes respectively.

Zimbabwe got their second goal in the 60th minute scored by Ronald Uziyaya.

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