Dabo reveals how Azam exploited Coastal Union to book Federation Cup final spot

By Michael Mwebe , The Guardian
Published at 12:05 PM May 20 2024
Azam Couch Youssouph Dabo
Photo: Courtesy of Azam FC
Azam Couch Youssouph Dabo

COACH Youssouph Dabo has shared the tactical secrets which helped Azam cruise to victory in the CRDB Bank Federation Cup semi-final against Coastal Union.

The Senegalese coach was speaking to the press after the game and was happy to disclose parts of his tactical approach as Azam won 3-0 at the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza on Saturday.

Abdulhamis ‘Sopu’ Suleiman scored the first goal for Azam from the spot kick in the 42nd minute before Feisal Salum added a second in the 68th minute. 

Sopu put the game beyond Coastal Union’s reach with a third goal in the 79th minute in an overwhelming win for Dabo’s men to cruise into a second consecutive final.

Dabo attributed Azam's overwhelming victory to their ability to exploit the inherent weakness in an otherwise good defensive system of Coastal Union during the game.

“This is the third time we play against Coastal Union and like I said to my players we just need to keep the ball and let them run behind the ball. 

“We knew before that it is a team who have a good defensive organisation but sometimes they leave big space,” Dabo said after the game

“To find that kind of space we need a quiet build-up, to put pressure and after that, if you succeed to enter in their block, you need to go fast. I think we succeeded. 

“In the first half, it was more difficult because of the weather, it was very hot. We decided to keep the ball, to play slowly and we pushed them to run behind the ball. Physically, if you run behind the ball it is difficult.

“Before the final, we have an important game against JKT Tanzania on Thursday. We need to prepare very well for this game. With this result, it can boost our confidence. We need to continue being strong.

“As I say to my players every time, in football you win, lose or draw. When you win you can say what you want because you win. And when you lose it is not possible to talk but our process is not just one game.

“We need to continue to grow, use each game to learn. We are here to learn and we continue to learn,” he said.

If Azam will take on Young Africans in the Federation Cup final next month, then it will be a repeat of last year's final in which the Chamazi side lost 1-0 at Mkwakwani Stadium.