Monday 26 November 2012

Zanzibar in opening game stalemate

Zanzibar shared the points with Eritrea after a cagey opening game in group C of the 2012 CECAFA Cup.

Ali Mwadini smothers an Eritrean attack.
Eritrea had the better of the opening exchanges with the islanders reduced to long-range efforts. However on the half-hour they had the best opportunity of the first period when striker Khamis Mcha, scorer of 4 goals at the VIVA World Cup in June, shot wide following a poor clearance from Eritrean goalkeeper Samuel Alazar. Both sides came out for the second-half positively and after Zanzibar tested Alazar on a couple of occasions the FIFA side went down the other end and twice striker Redhi Medhanie went close, with Ali Mwadini at full-stretch to turn his shot over the bar in the 60th minute. Substitute Jakku Joma had the ball in the net for the islanders with 15 minutes to go but it was ruled out for handball. They finished the game on top and saw the best effort of the match saved by Alazar when another substitute, Saif Adballa, controlled the ball on his chest and fired in a powerful half-volley from close range.

The result does little to help the Zanzibar in their quest to make it 3 straight quarter-final appearances in the annual tournament. Interestingly after the game manager Salum Nassor said 'maybe we'd have had a stronger team with exposure as we're not allowed to have friendlies with other teams...outside CECAFA'.

The non-FIFA side are next in action against Rwanda on Thursday when they will hope to gain revenge for their quarter-final loss last year.

Match information

Score: Zanzibar 0 - 0 Eritrea

Zanzibar XI: Mwadini; Haroub, Masoud, Hajji, Morris; Makame, O.Omar [Abdalla 46’], Ally [Gulam 84’], Kassim; Mcha, H.Omar [Juma 68’].

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