Nyerere treble fires Tanzania to Copa glory


Nyerere treble fires Tanzania to Copa glory
Tanzania players cerebrate after emerging the 2019 Copa Coca-Cola winners at M-Pesa Academy in Thika on December 5, 2019. (PHOTO/Stanley Mativo)

In Summary

  • Tanzania crushed Zimbabwe 6-2 in the final to win the Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup Tournament title as they completed an impressive run in emphatic style at the at Mpesa Foundation Academy in Thika on Thursday
  • Kenya, who won the inaugural edition in Nakuru last year, settled for fourth place after losing the third place playoff 2-1 at the hands of Zambia who thus won bronze

Tanzania crushed Zimbabwe 6-2 in the final to win the Copa Coca-Cola Africa Cup Tournament title as they completed an impressive run in emphatic style at the at Mpesa Foundation Academy in Thika on Thursday.

Kenya, who won the inaugural edition in Nakuru last year, settled for fourth place after losing the third place playoff 2-1 at the hands of Zambia who thus won bronze.

Zimbabwe made a dream start with Inasio Perelo cut inside from the left and slotted a cool opening goal inside just four minutes and Tanzania almost provided an instant reply when Mohammed Rai rattled the crossbar with a ferocious effort.

Tanzania leveled matters moments later through Paul Nyerere and the same player put his side ahead at the quarter hour after being set up by Frank Sefanie to cap a sensational start to the game.

The scored board flashed up to read 3-1 shortly after when Harun Ndile got his name on the score sheet and Nyerere grabbed his hat-trick in the 28th minute after finding himself with only the keeper to beat.

In the dying moments of the first half, Zimbabwe had a glorious opportunity to reduce the arrears when they were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute but Luke Musikiri effort was saved by the Tanzania keeper Ismail Tole.

Boniface Raphael increased Tanzania’s goal tally to six, five minutes later with the champions commanding an unassailable lead at half-time.

In the second half, Ronald Uziyaya struck the second for Zimbabwe at the hour mark and the latter held the champions to the end.

Speaking after the triumph, Tanzania coach Abel Mtweve hailed his charges for following his game plan.

“My boys followed my instructions and our efforts have paid off. Zimbabwe was unbeaten and we knew they will give us challenge but I was surprised when in the first half, the score line was 6-1. It is a big win for the country and we hope next year the tournament will be hosted in Tanzania so that we can defend the title in our home turf,” he said.

The four-day tournament attracted 10 countries from various football associations in Africa.

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Story By Stanley Mativo
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