Tanzania beat Zim to lift second Copa Coca Cola trophy

Friday, December 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Tanzania officials and players celebrate after winning the Copa Coca-Cola 2019 at M-Pesa Foundation in Thika yesterday. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

Tanzania thrashed Zimbabwe 6-2 to win the second edition of Copa Coca Cola Africa Cup at M-PESA Foundation Academy yesterday.

Tournament top scorer Paul Nyerere scored a first half hat-trick in a dominant performance, which saw five goals scored for Tanzania.

In another match, Kenya banged four goals in a record 20 minutes after Zimbabwe drew first blood through Inasio Perelo following a poor defensive blunder in the fourth minute. 

Barely five minutes later, the livewire Nyerere who took the golden boot with seven goals was at the end of an exciting cross from the left wing to pounce past the hapless Ronald Uraya in the far post. 

Two minutes on, a deep ball from  Bonface Raphael found the roving Nyerere in space to stab home a neat ball from six yards out.

Barely after the restart, Tanzania attackers stole the ball and Nyerere quickly teed Rai Mohammed to hit a scorcher from 30 yards sending the Tanzanian bench to a frenzy.

Invincible Tanzania

Ndile Harun later on put in a fine goal a few minutes after the second half restart to put the icing on the cake with a sweet spurn finish from close range as the Zimbabwe defence fell apart.

Despite a spirited comeback from the Zimbabwe team including a penalty by goalkeeper Uraya, they just could not catch up with the eventual winners as it all ended in pain.

“I think we gave our all and I am proud of the team as we are developing a good project for the future,” said losing coach Pahias Mauto. On his part, Tanzania tactician Abel Mtweve praised an elaborate game plan of finishing off moves and cutting out threats.

Meanwhile, Zambia avenges their semi-final loss to Kenya last year by beating the tournament hosts 2-1 in a physical duel.

All three goals were netted in a frenetic first half that saw action go end to end. In nine stunning minutes of the opening half, three quick fire goals went in both ends with Zambia drawing first blood through Elias Kuse on the third minute and later on in the ninth minute with Kenya getting their consolation in the sixth minute via Elisha Joel off a rebound.

Second half was evenly poised as both teams pressed with Ali Kamalu of Kenya being a constant threat and Toram Sakaza was also busy on the pitch.

Coach Kalapala Zulu of Zambia was a happy man for his side after the solid display stating: “We gave 100% in there and I am proud of the boys. Remember this is a revenge after our loss last year. I will recommend two of my players to the national under 20 side,” said an elated Zulu. 

His counterpart Daniel Lenjo praised his charges for trying their best in a competitive environment arguing it was a learning process.

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