Nairobi. Zanzibar Heroes coach Hemed Morocco lived up to his promise of making a winning start at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup as his team registered a convincing win over Rwanda’s Amavubi Stars at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos yesterday.
They thumped the Amavubi Stars 3-1 in the Group A match to sound a warning note to their next opponents in the regional tournament, Tanzania Mainland’s Kilimanjaro Stars.
“This is what we wanted. We had to win to make our intention clear. We need to maintain this rhythm,” the excited Morocco said after the Group A match.
“But the Rwanda game is gone and we should be plotting Kilimanjaro Stars’ downfall.
“We all know that it will be tough but my players have promised to put up a spirited performance,” he added confidently.
The Heroes picked up from where they left in the 2015 Challenge Cup.
The last time the side played an international match, they beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars by a similar margin (3-1) in Addis Ababa and showed just why they deserve a recognition by world football governing body, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (Caf) by edging a side preparing for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).
Singida United midfielder Yahya Mudathir opened the scoring in the 33rd minute but Hakizimana Muhadjiri levelled in the 47th minute. Issa Juma restored the Heroes’ lead six minutes later before substitute Kassim Suleiman stretched their lead five minutes to time.
In other results, Kenya was held to a 0-0 draw by guest team Libya as Ethiopia went top of Group B following a 3-0 over South Sudan. Kenya tops the group on four points followed by Zanzibar, Libya are third and Tanzania fourth.
Zanzibar’s three points in their opening game is a huge win for coach Hemed ‘Morocco’ Suleiman against a team that lost 2-0 to the hosts Kenya in the first match of the tournament.
“I thank my players for keeping to instructions against a team that came well knowing they lost the first game but we were lucky to have watched them play in the first game which helped us plan for this game. It’s too early to think about the tournament most important we go back to analyze our mistakes,”
“We will work on the weaknesses we noted head of the next game,” he said.