Zanzibar. Young Africans’ hopes to win the Mapinduzi Cup went up in thin smoke after they lost 5-4 on penalties to URA in a nail-biting semi-final on Wednesday.
Their Zambian international Obrey Chirwa had his penalty saved by URA goalkeeper at the Amaan Stadium.
The two teams battled to a barren draw in normal time before heading into the penalty shootouts.
URA, who will also beat defending champions Azam FC and Simba by an identical 1-0 score line in their way to the semi-finals, laboured to contain Yanga yesterday.
In their final group A match against Simba, the Ugandan tax collectors scored through their new signing De Boss Kalama at the stroke of half time.
The midfielder optimally made a solo run from his own half past a forest of players before unleashing a thunderous shot at the near post of the diving goalkeeper Emmanuel Mseja.
Before the goal, it was an end to end encounter with Simba missing close chances through John Bocco and Asante as goalkeeper Alionzi Nafian stood out with prominence.
They had previously defeated Mwenge and Azam by an identical 1-0 scoreline following the earlier opening stalemate with Jamhuri.
Meanwhile, five players, including former Simba Sports Club’s Janvier Lisala Bukungu, are on trial with Azam Rwanda Premier League defending champions, Rayon Sports.
The Blues, as Rayon Sports are popularly known, want to bolster their squad ahead of the Heroes Cup, league, Peace Cup, and CAF Champions league matches.
Besides Bukungu, who has been released by the Msimbazi Reds, other players who are on trial are Christian Moshi (Virunga), Modeste Eboa and Massia Bilombe all from Virunga FC of DR. Congo.
Bukungu, who was released by Simba last season, also played for Esperance Du Tunis, Daring Club Motema Pembe (DCMP), Renaissance and Virunga.
According to the head coach, Olivier Karekezi, they have just started the training ahead of the Heroes Cup tournament, which will be played from January 23 to Febuary 1.
“We are still assessing their performance, but we will take a decision on Friday (tomorrow),” Karekezi said.
Karekezi said that he needs five new foreign players ahead of the CAF Champions League.