SportPesa Cup run climax an all-Kenyan affair

26Jan 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
SportPesa Cup run climax an all-Kenyan affair

KENYAN club, Bandari, has ended Simba's dreams of securing a place in the final of the 2019 SportPesa Cup tournament, cruising to a 2-1 win over the latter in a pulsating semi-final that was played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Simba SC right fullback Nicholas Gyan (L), shoots during the semi-final match of the 2019 SportPesa Cup tournament at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO: HALIMA KAMBI


The Kenyan outfit will meet compatriots Kariobangi Sharks in the final today as the latter edged Tanzania's Mbao FC 6-5 in penalty shootouts in the second semi-final, at the same venue later in the evening. 

Strikers Wilberforce Lugogo and William Wadri notched Bandari's goals, whereas forward Meddy Kagere scored what turned out to be a consolation goal for Simba.

Bandari, led by head coach Bernard Mwalala who played for Yanga of Tanzania in his heydays, displayed fancy footwork and matched Simba toe to toe in the match, forcing the latter to step up their game.

The two teams' defenses had to be alert throughout the opening stanza to frustrate efforts by either side's forwardline to find the back of the net.

Striker Kagere scored the opener for Simba on the 44th minute, beating Bandari keeper Faruk Shikhalo with a fierece shot from outside the area.

Kagere had earlier been presented with an opportunity to put the ball on the back of Bandari's net after he was released by a team mate inside the area. His low foot shot was however saved by the Bandari keeper.

Striker Wadri wasted a good chance for his club midway through the opening stanza, when he headed wide off a cross from the right side.

The first stanza came to a close with Simba leading by the lone goal.

Bandari went close on two occasions early in the second half, as they sought to level matters, where Wadri fluffed a shot on the edge of Simba's area.

Bandari midfielder Collins Agade then unleashed a long range blockbuster which went inches over the crossbar.

Wadri helped Bandari draw level on the 60th minute, converting a spot kick they won when Simba's Muzamiru Yassin fouled midfielder Hassan Abdallah inside the area.

Simba failed to make the most of a good chance on the 65th minute, where Kagere failed to get on the end of a good pass by left fullback Mohamed Hussein inside the box.

Forward Wilberforce Lugogo notched the second goal for Bandari on the 72nd minute, beating Simba keeper Aishi Manula with a right foot shot from within the area.

The striker had capitalized on the failure by Simba defenders to clear a free kick from the left side.

Simba survived a scare on the 77th minute, as Wadri made his way into the area, got the better of fullback Nicholas Gyan and whipped in a low cross.

Wycliffe Ochomo sped into the area, but however lost his footing and failed to connect the ball home.

Simba midfielder Haruna Niyonzima threw overboard a glorious opportunity on the 83rd minute, when he shot over from within the area, with only the keeper to beat.

Simba made several forays into Bandari's penalty area during the closing stages in an effort to level matters. The latter's defense marshalled by skipper Felly Mulumba stood firm and foiled repeated attacks.

Simba booked a place in the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Kenyan side AFC Leopards in the quarterfinal match at the same venue on Wednesday.

Wadri was Bandari's hero in the club's quarterfinal match against Singida United, which took place a day earlier.

He netted the all-important goal from a spot kick to help the side qualify for the semi-finals.

The competition's other semi-final later yesterday ended with Mbao FC conceding a loss to Kariobangi Sharks.

The two teams had to go for penalty shootouts after settling for a barren draw in the 90 minutes of the clash.

In the penalty shootout, Tom Teka, Sven Yida, Geoffrey Shiveka, Nixon Omondi, Eric Juma and Michael Bodo converted the spot kicks for Kariobangi Sharks whereas a shot by Patilah Omotto was saved by Mbao FC keeper Metacha Mnata.

David Mwasa, Eric Murilo, Vincent Phillipo, Raphael Siyame and Saidi Hamisi netted for Mbao FC, whilst Amos Charles and Hamimu Abdulkarim could not find the back of the net.  

Mbao FC stunned the tournament's defending champions, Gor Mahia in the quarterfinal to progress to the last four stage by penalty shootouts.

Kariobangi Sharks made short work ofcity giants Yanga with a 3-2 win in the quarterfinal clash.