Tanzania and Mozambique share the spoils


Tanzania’s Taifa Stars were held to 1-1 draw by Mozambique in Wednesday’s first leg 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations qualification game at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
Mozambique drew the first blood half way through  the opening half when Clesio Bauque capitalized on slack defending by Taifa Stars to slot home past goalkeeper Juma Kaseja.
However, Taifa Stars midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto scored with a stunning effort from almost 25 meters  out after 41 minutes to pull the teams  level. Stars had most chances in the first half but they were let down by some poor finishing. Strikers  John Bocco and Vincent Barnabas had some chances to increase Tanzania’s score line but could not beat the in-form Mozambique goalkeeper Joao Rafael.
Both teams showed intent early on but it was Stars who carved most of the openings, but to the dismay of the home fans they could not convert the chances. The home side was made to pay when Mozambique notched the opener after launching a swift counter seconds after Barnabas had missed from the other end.
Bauque received a long pass on the left and dribble his way past Stars defence into the box before beating Kaseja to the near post. Tanzania could and should have equalized in the 29th minute when Barnabas stormed inside Mozambique box but with only goalkeeper to beat he placed his shot wide. Moments later, Bocco was presented with another chance when was set up inside Mozambique penalty by Barnabas but his effort was well off the target.
Midfielder Kazimoto found the equalizer four minutes to half time with a powerful long range drive after he was set up by Barnabas from the left. The goal sparked wild celebrations among home supporters.
On resumption, Barnabas had a great opportunity to put Stars ahead following a poor clearance by Mozambique defenders inside their box but the diminutive winger could not beat keeper  Rafael. Mozambique survived a scare in the 76th minutes when second half substitute Mrisho Ngasa’s attempted  shot bounced off the crossbar.
Bocco  got another chance to win the game when he was released inside the Mambas box but his shot was easily saved by Joao much, to the dismay of the home crowd. Stars are expected to meet Mozambique in the return leg in the latter’s backyard between June 15 and 17 this year.
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