Azam end Community Shield jinx

18Aug 2016
Mohammed Ugasa
The Guardian
Azam end Community Shield jinx

AZAM FC bagged their first silverware of the season after beating Mainland champions Young Africans by 4-1 penalties in the Community Shield encounter staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Azam players and officials celebrate Community Shield trophy after beating Young Africans by 4-1 penalties at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday. The teams battled to a 2-2 draw at the end of the regulation time.

The teams battled to a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation time with Yanga throwing overboard a 2-0 first half lead.

Azam rallied from behind to level matters before stamping their authority during the shootout.The ice-cream makers conceded two quickfire goals midway into the opening half courtesy of Yanga’s Zimbabwean talismanic striker, Donald Ngoma.

Azam were completely out of the picture throughout the opening half and it seemed the mission to end the Community Shield voodoo would not materialise.

The ice-cream makers came as a rejuvenated outfit after resumption with all-rounder Shomari Kapombe scoring the first goal after 59 minutes. Still trailing by a lone goal, Yanga players seemed to have relaxed and complacence took its toll as the game came close to an end.

Azam put up a brilliant display of attacking soccer deternined to pull an equaliser. Their efforts paid off to secure a priceless penalty with four minutes to the end of the game.

Skipper John Bocco was given the responsibility to level matters and he did not disappoint when he sent Yanga goalie Deogratius Munishi the wrong way as scores were level on 2-2.

Drama unfolded in the shootout as Azam skipper Bocco scored the opening penalty for Azam when the scoreboard read 1-0.

An unlikely penalty choice for Yanga, Deogratius Munishi stepped in to open the way for his team.
Munishi beat Azam’s competent goalie Aishi Manula to bring hope as scoreboard read 1-1.

Himid Mao scored for Azam to take 2-1 lead.
Then came heartbreaking moment for Yanga as their newly signed player who crossed over from their archrivals Simba, Haassan Kessy, missed the second penalty, Manula saved it.

Shomari Kapombe scored for Azam’s third penalty to extend the lead to 3-1.Rwandan midfielder Haruna Niyonzima was given the responsibility to shoot the third penalty for Yanga and he unfortunately blasted it over the cross bar amid cheering from Azam and ‘presumably’ fans.

As Yanga were trailing by 3-1 penalties, Azam’s Ivoruan midfielder stepped in to take the fourth penalty and he scored it to end the match as winners of the shield for the first time.

Three-time before Azam have been losing the shield to Yanga including last season when they were beaten by 8-7 penalties by Yanga, after 1-1 draw in regulation time.

The victory is a huge boost and extensive relief for newy appointed Azam Spaniard coach Zeben Hernandez, ahead of the premier league opener on Saturday.