Victory buoys Azam premiership title bid

19Aug 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Victory buoys Azam premiership title bid

AZAM FC’s Community Shield victory over Young Africans has motivated the ice-cream makers as they gear up to bid for Mainland premier league title chase tomorrow.

Azam goalkeeper Aishi Manula dives to save Yanga defender Hassan Kessy’s penalty during the Community Shield match played at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday. Azam won 4-1 penalties after (2-2) draw).

Azam beat Yanga by 4-1 penalties (after 2-2 draw) in the game on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam, which also served as the curtain raiser for the domestic top flight soccer’s new season.

Azam’s information officer, Jaffar Iddi, said the win has boosted the team’s player’s morale and the latter are keen on winning their first two matches against African Lyon and Majimaji.

Azam will host African Lyon in the opening match at their backyard, Azam Complex, in the Dar es Salaam tomorrow and will then entertain Majimaji at the same venue on August 27.

Iddi admitted that the Wednesday game was tough and his team was a bit paralysed by the two quickfire goals but then recovered and levelled matters in the closing stages.

“Coach Zeben Hernandez told the players they still have chance to turn around their fortunes in the match. He opted for substitutions which eventually paid off in the second half,” Iddi disclosed.

Hernandez was equally delighted with his team’s win but conceded their opponents were better in the opening stanza.
“Yanga were better than us early on but we made some changes thereafter and played well,” Hernandez noted.

Two goals scored in quick succession in the opening 20 minutes by Zimbabwean striker, Donald Ngoma, saw the Jangwani Street side made its presence felt, only to see Azam level matters later in the second half.

Right fullback, Shomari Kapombe, bundled in the ball from inside Yanga penalty area following the latter’s defenders weakness to clear a corner kick.

Striker, John Bocco, thereafter, brought his team back into level terms, converting a penalty kick the team won deep into stoppage time.

Yanga defenders’ failure to deal with corner kicks looks to be a weakness the Jangwani Street side’s technical bench needs to address, if the goal scored by Kapombe is anything to go by.

The absence of Ivorian striker, Kipre Tchetche, was seriously felt in Azam’s striking force during the game, given Bocco was constantly checked by Yanga defenders.

Yanga striking partnership of Ngoma and Burundian striker, Amissi Tambwe, proved to be a handful for Azam defenders early in the game and could have done better with several more opportunities the strikers had.