- Published on Saturday, 26 November 2011 09:26
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporter
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SIMBA SC are new champions of the Under- 20 Premier League Youth tournament dubbed ‘Uhai Cup’ after beating Azam FC 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw in open play.
The action-packed final match played at the Karume memorial Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday witnessed some dazzling and scintillating football as youngsters demonstrated their skills in front of packed venue.
And despite of a plentiful goal-mouth action, neither of the two teams managed to send the ball into the back of the net for the regular 90 minutes. It prompted the match to go into extra 30 minutes, which still could not change the scoreline, with players from both sides guilty of passing up some gilt-edged chances.
The winner had to be decided through penalty shoot-outs and the ‘Young Lions’ from the Msimbazi Street emerged on top as they buried 6 shots against Azam FC’s 5.
Simba scored their penalties through Abdallah Selemani, Ramadhani Singani, Jamal Mwambeleko, Edward Christopher, Haruna Athumani and William Lugani, while Azam scorers were Mgaya Jaffar, Calvin Idd, Ibrahim Juma, Tumaini Venance and Mussa Kanyagha whereas Dazan Yaluku missed his shot.
To reach the final Simba roared past Toto African in an exciting semi-final match played at the same venue on Wednesday, while Azam FC booked their final slot after seeing off the national U-17 team, Serengeti Boys, which was invited to participate in the championship with a view to gain valuable experience.
By clinching the youth title, their first since the championship was introduced four year ago, Simba pocketed in 1.5m/-, while Azam FC got 1m/- for their runners-up feat. Serengeti Boys, who beat Toto African 2-1 in the play-off played on Friday were awarded 500,000/-.
Simba youth team tactician Selemani Matola, who is the side’s former midfielder and captain, was voted best coach of the tournament while the team’s sensational striker Ramadhani Singano emerged over-all best player.
Azam duo of Simoni Mzava and Aisha Salumu respectively won the best goal-scorer and best shot-stopper tags, while Juma Seif was voted best referee of the youth tournament, officiated by young referees.
The championship, sponsored by the S.S Bakhresa Company through its brand, Uhai Drinking water, started some two weeks ago in which teams were divided into three groups, each with five teams.
Group A had the then defending champions, Ruvu Shooting, Oljoro JKT, Kagera Sugar, Azam and Mtibwa Sugar. Group B comprised of Yanga, JKT Ruvu, Polisi Dodoma, Moro United and Villa Squad, while the new champions Simba were drawn alongside Serengeti Boys, Coastal Union, Toto Africans and African Lyon.
The tournament involves Premier League under 20 Sides. Azam Academy won back to back titles in 2008 and 2009, before Ruvu Shooting put their name among the winners of the youth championship in 2010 after beating their brother JKT Ruvu 2-1 in the final.