COPA Africa: Tanzania crowned Champions

COPA Africa: Tanzania crowned Champions

Tanzania is the 2019 COPA Africa Champions after registering a 6-2 win over Zimbabwe in the final staged on Thursday 5 December at the MPESA Foundation Academy. 

Surprisingly, Zimbabwe had offered the major threat in the first ten minutes with the South Africa nation depending on the counter-attacks as Tanzania went out for attack. Mnofli Bekezela had to clear an Ibrahim Kassim effort on the line after goalkeeper Ronald Uraya beaten.

The Zimbabweans in an attack on the other end were to open the scoring proceedings in the fourth minute through Inasio Perelo; the striker evading a few challenges, with the help of his strike partners, to slot past the Tanzania keeper after a swift counter.

After the Zimbabwe goal, the tide turned into Tanzania for the rest of the first half. Paul Nyerere was to restore parity in the ninth minute before putting his side into the lead in the 15th minute with a sumptuous header following delivery from Frank Sefania.

Haroun Ndile was to add a third for Tanzania in the 17th minute with a stinging shot before Ronald, in the Zimbabwe goal, misjudged a cross from defender Mohammed Rai that sailed straight into his net a minute later.

Tanzania pressure was to pay at the half-hour mark with Nyerere grabbing his hat trick after finding himself with only the keeper to beat. Zimbabwe had a glorious opportunity to reduce the arrears before the half time break when they were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute but Luke Musikiri effort was saved by the Tanzania keeper as Tanzania raced to a 5-1 lead at the break.

Boniface Rafael scored Tanzania’s sixth five minutes after resumption; Zimbabwe reacting to the set back by introducing Alfa Chiwashira for Perelo Inasio with Tanzania withdrawing scorer Rafael Boniface for Innocent Mtoi.

Zimbabwe was to finally get a second through a penalty after Shauri Anyimike had brought down Alfa in the box; up stepped keeper Ronald to send his counterpart from Tanzania the wrong way. Zimbabwe tried all they could to salvage the situation but couldn't manage anything tangible after their penalty.