Azam FC closing in for title defense

12Jan 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Azam FC closing in for title defense

AZAM FC yesterday inched closer to successful title defense in the 2019 Mapinduzi Cup competition with a resounding 3-0 victory over KMKM of Zanzibar in the semi-final at the Amaan Stadium in Zanzibar.

Azam FC fullback, Nicholas Wadada (L), attempts to get the better of Malindi defender during the 2019 Mapinduzi Cup tournament's match that was held in Zanzibar on Wednesday. PHOTO: COURTESY OF AZAM FC

The ice cream outfit’s opponents in the final, scheduled for Sunday, were expected to be known later in the evening yesterday, after the second semi-final match between Simba and Malindi of Zanzibar.

 

Azam FC started posing a threat to the hosts right from the kick off as they went close on the first minute after KMKM defender, Bruno Costa, was forced to make a timely block to frustrate Aubrey Chirwa, who had attempted a left foot shot outside the area.

KMKM defender, Richard Jaka, made clearance from within the area off a cross from the left three minutes later as Azam FC pressed for an opener.

KMKM had a good chance a minute later when a striker saw his header from within the area fly inches over the bar, seeking to make the most of a weak shot at goal.

Goalkeeper Nassor Abdallah came to the KMKM rescue three minutes later when he punched a fierce shot by midfielder Mudathir Yahya, for a corner kick.

Azam FC went 1-0 up a minute later through defender, Aggrey Morris, heading in from the corner kick whipped in by midfielder Enock Agyei.

The visitors had a good opportunity on the 16th minute, as Chirwa sped down the right side and whipped in a low cross, only to see other forwards miss the connection.

Midfielder Salum Abubakary could only shot over from within the KMKM goal area on the 21st minute after receiving a pass from Agyei.

KMKM had an opportunity to level matters on the 26th minute, after striker Iliasa Salum was released outside Azam FC area, but attempted a weak right foot effort that was easily collected by Razak Abalora.

KMKM keeper Abdallah made a good save to foil an attempt byAbubakary from outside the area on the 38th minute as the visitors sought to extend their lead.

The visitors had earlier put the hosts’ defense under pressure when a quick exchange of passes between Chirwa, Abubakary, Agyei and Joseph Mahundi inside the KMKM area ended with a clearance.

The first stanza ultimately ended with Azam FC leading by the lone goal.

KMKM keeper Abdallah went for a dive and thwarted a goal-bound free kick from outside the penalty area on the 57th minute, by Morris.

Abubakary put Azam FC 2-0 up on the 62nd minute, calmly slotting in Nicholas Wadada’s pinpoint low cross from the right.

Abdallah made another good save to keep at bay Wadada, who had dribbled past a KMKM defender and unleashed a fierce right foot shot from inside the box.

Azam FC made certain of their progression to the final with a third goal netted by Chirwa on the 82nd minute in which the forward rifled in from inside the KMKM area.

Azam FC had opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw with Zanzibar’s Jamhuri, and the Dar es Salaam outfit then cruised to a resounding 3-0 win over Yanga.

In the following two matches, Azam FC posted 2-1 wins over Zanzibar clubs, Malindi and KVZ.

 

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