Dar es Salaam. Mtibwa Sugar will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup after beating Singida United 3-2 in the final match of the Azam HD Federation Cup today June 2.
The team also pocketed Sh50million while Singida United were awarded Sh10 million from the tournament sponsors, Azam Media Limited. Mtibwa becomes the third team to win the trophy after Young Africans in 2016 and Simba last year.
This will be the second time for Mtibwa Sugar to feature in the continental competition. The team represented the country in 2004 but its dreams ended in the first round.
Mtibwa Sugar also represented the country in CAF Champions League in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and failed to qualify into the quarter finals of the competition.
The sugar millers’ goals were scored by Salum Kihimbwa in the 24th minute before Issa Rashid scored the second in the 37th. However, Singida United reduced the gap after Salum Chukwu scored in the 44th minute and later Zimbabwean midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu made it 2-2 in the 70th.
With many soccer fans at the Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium believing that the two teams would go for extra time, Mtibwa Sugar turned the tables on their opponents when Ismail Mhesa scored the third goal in the 89th after he was set clear by Kelvin Sabato.
In his post-match remarks Singida United’s outgoing head coach Hans Van Pluijm said they played well and created many scoring chances in the encounter but could not score.
“We were unlucky in the encounter as we failed to utilize the many scoring chances. But I congratulate Mtibwa Sugar for winning the trophy and I bid farewell to the team because I will be serving a new employer,” said Pluijm.
Mtibwa Sugar head coach Zubery Katwila congratulated his players for fighting hard and winning the trophy for the first time. Katwila said although they played with ten players when one of their players was sent off, they managed to do their best and win the trophy.
“It was not an easy encounter as Singida United is a formidable team. I am happy with the perfect record against them, following the 3-0 win in the Mainland Premier League. This shows that we are a very strong team in the country even though we are facing many challenges, including losing key players every season,” said Katwila.