- Published on Monday, 09 July 2012 03:10
- Written by JAPHETH KAZENGA
- Hits: 711
KINONDONI made it to the quarterfinals of the Copa Coca-Cola U-17 Championship with a 3-1 victory over Rukwa at the Karume Memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
Strikers, Yahya Mohamed, Issa Ally and right fullback, Mbarouk Liyayala netted the three goals for Kinondoni to realize the team's qualification for the quarterfinals while Rukwa's only goal in the round of 16's game was scored by skipper and centre back, Ladislaus Akifwamba, just two minutes before the breather.
A solid performance by Kinondoni, particularly at the midfield, was all that made the difference in the match, in which the team's midfielders, John Komba, Said Abdallah Bori and Joseph Julius, pulled the strings well and created a host of chances for the striking force, which ultimately exploited three to seal the win.
Kinondoni, though, had to play with 10 players for most of the game after the side's left fullback, Twalib Salum, was given marching orders early on for misconduct. The Dar es Salaam youngsters, nevertheless, had an upper hand throughout and Salum's absence was hardly felt.
Mohamed found his way into the score sheet on the 12th minute after a couple of misses by Kinondoni, but Rukwa then fought back and levelled matters on the 45th minute through Akifwamba, whose 25 meters' free kick from the right flew over Kinondoni players inside the box and went in through the top right corner.
Rukwa players and their fans' celebrations, however, had hardly died when Kinondoni striker, Ally slammed in the second on the same minute to bring his side back in control.
Ally was at the end of a flowing move by his team mates just outside the area and once he was set clear, he juggled his way past three Rukwa defenders inside the box and fired high into the roof of the net, leaving Rukwa keeper, Jacob Ntamballah, flat footed.
Kinondoni led 2-1 at the breather and the team, on resumption, had to strengthen its defensive approach to counter speedy Rukwa strikers, who attacked in earnest seeking to cancel out their opponents' lead.
Rukwa had a good attempt on the 66th minute, when the team's strikers stringed passes and made their way into the box but disappointingly failed to finish off the move. Kinondoni replied four minutes later when substitute, Liyayala, sped with the ball down the right and cut in but his fierce, low shot was saved by Rukwa keeper, Ntamballah, for an abortive corner kick.
On the 77th minute, Rukwa got a free kick 20 metres out on the right and midfielder, Benson Kilolo, curled in a good effort only to see striker, Calvin Manyika, head straight to Kinondoni keeper, Mohamed Soud. The Southern Highlands region's side was punished for its profligacy two minutes later when Kinondoni's Liyayala put his side's victory beyond doubt with a simple tap in to complete spadework by Mohamed.
Mohamed was set up at the edge of the penalty area and opted to speed down the left, where he juggled past a couple of Rukwa defenders and hit a low, left footed cross, which was met by Liyayala in the box and the latter had a simple tap in with the left foot.
"You have seen how our squad performed today,there was no doubt we were the better side. Matches at this stage are usually tough but, we thank God we have prevailed, we played with 10 players for the most part but we still managed to keep our opponents in check," said Kinondoni's assistant coach, Mwinyimadi Tambaza.
Kinondoni, eventually, lived up to the promise set earlier by their assistant coach, Tambaza, who had expressed hope on seeing his side progress to the last eight stage on the basis of being on top form presently.
Dodoma also sailed through into the last 8 with a 1-0 win over Arusha in another round of 16's match played at the Tanganyika Packers ground, Kawe, in the morning. Ayoub Khalfan scored the lone goal of the match after five minutes.
Other matches were scheduled to take place later in the evening, in which Kilimanjaro and Mwanza locked horns at the Karume Memorial Stadium, while Tabora faced Tanga at the Tanganyika Packers ground.