Azam Football Club team stormed into this year’s edition of Kagame Cup final following their surprise but deserving 2-1 semifinal comeback victory over invitees AS Vita from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The ice-cream makers meet defending champions Yanga in the final to be played on Saturday.
It was a thrilling match played before a sparse crowd owing to Azam’s shortage of supporters despite playing with full home ground advantage.
Azam that ended the preliminaries with unbeaten run and spiced up their run to the final with a quarterfinal 3-1win over six-time winners Simba on Tuesday, trailed by Mfongang Alfred’s goal ten minutes to the half time mark.
The tide looked high for the Mainland premiership runners-up as the second half kicked off with AS Vita pushing hard to extend their lead.
As usual, Bocco, who always looks as if he is not on the field and harmless, leaped high to nod home Erasto Nyoni’s high-flying curling goal-bound cross for the potential equaliser.
Despite having a handful of supporters on the stands, the goal was celebrated as the home side revived final berth hope,
Azam played aggressively with midfielders Kipre Tcheche and diminutive Salum Aboubakar feeding the striking force more often.
The ice cream makers besieged Azam goal and the mounting pressure eventually paid off superbly.
Lynchpin defender Nyoni overlapped on the right flank and released a perfect cross reminiscent of the equalising attempt when Bocco headed it home again only to be denied the goal by Ugandan referee Dennis Bate.
AS vita suffered a huge blow as they lost one of their potential player, Isama Mpeku to give a useful numerical advantage to the home side.
Mpeku had conceded the second yellow before marching orders were given by the Ugandan referee.
Azam’s English coach John Stewart introduced slippery striker Mrisho Ngasa during the second half to intensify attacks upfront.
Later on Azam’s towering striker Gaudance Mwaikimba was introduced into the field in replacement of Kipre Tcheche
While most of spectators who attended the match thought it would stretch into the extra time, Aboubakar made a soft but impressive display inside the box to supply Ngasa a pin-point pass for the later to make a clinical finish, a minute to full time.
Vita were outclassed altogether as they fought hard for the equaliser that never was while composed Azam players played it safe.
As the added time were almost over, Ngasa made a superb break and he was on his way to score but was tripped by onrushing Vita goalkeeper just outside the box.
It was the last show of the game as referee blew the final whistle to end the match.