Ivory Coast U-20s see off Tanzania
Ngorongoro Heroes, Tanzania’s U-20 team’s side dreams of making their maiden appearance in the Africa Youth Championship finals were shattered, after settling to a 1-1 draw with Ivory Coast in the return leg match on Saturday.
After conceding a 1-0 defeat away in Abidjan in a first leg tie a fortnight ago, Heroes needed nothing short of a clear victory against the ‘Junior Elephants’ at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam, but they failed to live to their billing.
Hard working winger Diomande Vamouti gave the visitors the lead an early lead, before Tanzania fought back to level matters through Salum Abubakar in the 49th minute.
The match started tentatively, with both sides trying to work out in the first few minutes and after an early scare from the West Africans, Heroes produced some good chances of their own, but its striking force, made by Thomas Ulimwengu, Mbwana Samatta and Rajabu Isihaka failed to make count.
The interval exit of ineffective Hamis Thabit and Rajabu Isihaka made way to Kelvin Chale and Yusuf Soka. Chale in particular rejuvenated Heroes shaky midfield and was the centre of most attacks but the Simba prodigy lasted for 15-minutes only, after he was shown a second yellow card by Kenyan referee Thomas Onyango.
Despite playing with ten players for most of the second half after Kelvin Chale was shown a second yellow card, the home side held on brilliantly and managed to create several opportunities but they were brought down by inept finishing.
“We could have won the match if we had been carefully with our chances, we created some decent chances but we couldn’t take them. But it is Chale's red card that cost us dearly,” said Tanzania’s coach Rodrigo Stockler.Ivory Coast striker, Toure Cheick, who plays for Fulahm in England, was pleased to reach the next round. “We are happy to qualify, although it was tough facing the Tanzanians on their own tuff,” he said
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