- Rupia scored twice in Singida’s 4-2 win
- Azam also picked their first win
- Simba and Yanga have arrived in Zanzibar for the tournament
Rupia’s goals not only helped Singida to a comfortable victory, but also saw him bag the man of the match award.
“I am delighted to have been named man of the match but thanks to my teammates for making the win possible. It wasn’t my effort alone. It was great scoring twice and both goals were just about awareness and movement. Hopefully we can keep the winning run on,” Rupia said after the match.
He broke the deadlock for Singida after 17 minutes with a simple finish inside the box, a lead they took till halftime.
It took Singida just two minutes after the restart to score the second, Rupia completing his brace, but the high tempo at which the second half started saw JKU also pull one back to half the deficit, Saleh Madou scoring after 61 minutes from the penalty spot.
The Zanzibari side piled the pressure knowing one goal could turn the game into their favour, but they were stunned in the final 10 minutes of the game when Meddie Kagere and Fancy Kazadi scored twice to cement the win for Singida.
In an earlier match Akram Omar Mhina netted a brace to guide KVZ FC to a 2-0 win against Jamhuri FC in a Group C match. On Thursday Burundi’s Vital’O settled for a goalless draw against Chipukizi United, while Azam FC also drew 0-0 with defending champions Mlandege FC in Group A ties.
Mapinduzi delight for Azam
Meanwhile, Azam FC picked their first win of the Mapinduzi Cup after edging out Chipukizi United 1-0 at the Amman Stadium. Azam who had started their campaign with a 0-0 draw against Mlandege clinched the three points to move to four in their group, and finely poised to make the next round.
It was a difficult match for Azam, but the early goal they scored was crucial to help them steady and win the match.
Allasane Diao scored the goal for Azam after 12 minutes, finishing off a move he had helped build up from midfield.
He sprayed the ball into the middle, then ran into the box as Ayoub Lyanga picked up the ball on the right, slicing a low cross into the box that the Senegalese forward calmly slotted home, a goal that would last till full time.
Diao, named man of the match, was delighted with the performance.
“I am happy with myself and the performance especially in a very difficult game. When you play against such teams, they always come to defend and make it really hard. But I am glad we got the three points as a team. That is the most important thing,” said the forward.
Simba and Yanga land in Zanzibar
Both teams have been training in their respective bases in Dar es Salaam and arrive just less than 24 hours before their opening matches.
Simba have been drawn in Group B of the tournament alongside SIngida Big Stars, Zanzibar’s JKU and Rwandese side APR, who have also just arrived in Zanzibar. Singida and JKU have already played Group B’s opening match, the former winning 4-1.
Meanwhile, Yanga have been drawn in Group C with Jamhuri SC, Jamus FC and KVZ FC.
Yanga coach Miguel Gamondi, whose side has already trained in Zanzibar is looking forward to a good tournament.
“We want to display the best football and also give many players a chance to prove their worth and get maximum game time. We know that we have a very busy and tough 2024 and we need to have a very strong squad. This tournament will give us the chance to strengthen our team,” said the coach.