Tanzania is through to the second round of the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers after beating Kenya’s Harambee Stars 4-1 on post-match penalties at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi following a 0-0 aggregate draw.
The Taifa Stars have now booked a date with Sudan in the second and final round of qualification as they look to progress to their first-ever CHAN appearance.
“I am really pleased we won today. It was a very tough match but we managed the game well. I knew that we had a good keeper who can save penalties because of his experience and he did just what we expected him to do. Now we focus on the second round and we will give our best to qualify,” Tanzania coach Etienne Ndairagijje said after the game.
His opposite number Sebastien Migne said his side lost because of lack of experience and lamented the loss of five key players who were initially in his plans before they moved after the transfer window opened.
“Today, we lacked a bit of maturity. We lacked players who can handle this pressure. It is hard when two months before you have a plan with specific players and then all over sudden you don’t have them and you have to plan again. But we did our best, only a small detail in the final third lacked,” Migne stated.
On penalties, Tanzania scored all their four while the home side only managed once.
Erasto Nyoni, Paulo Godfrey, Gadiel Michael and Salum Hamis each put one past John Oyemba in Stars’ goal while Kenya’s only penalty was scored by Clifton Miheso.
Joash Onyango struck his penalty over the bar while Michael Kibwage saw his effort saved as the Tanzanians triumphed in Nairobi.
It was a cagy game with few chances, each side playing it safe. Tanzania had an 18tth minute chance when Frank Domayo met a Hassan Dilunga cross from the right but he volleyed the ball over from close range.
Kenya’s only sniffs at goal were off two efforts from distance by Kenneth Muguna and Dennis Odhiambo both going over while Miheso followed the same path with a freekick from good scoring range.
Stars had a frantic start to the second half and had a chance to score barely a minute in when a quickly taken throw-in found Miheso who cut back for Whyvonne Isuza, but his shot hit the side netting.
With 15 minutes left, Stars had another great chance when Lokale cut in a cross from the right but both Isuza and Duke Abuya missed with Juma Kaseja off his line.
Tanzania should have snatched the game at the death when a mistake from Oyemba off his line gifted John Bocco the ball, but the experienced striker hit the chance over the bar with only Joash Onyango to beat on the line.