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Tanzania Crowned CECAFA U-23 Champions

Tanzania were crowned Council of East and Central African Football Association (CECAFA) U-23 Challenge Cup champions in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on Friday afternoon.

The Taifa Stars claimed a the title following a 6-5 win on penalties over Burundi after the match played at the Bahir Dar Stadium ended in a 0-0 draw.

Tanzania came into the final undefeated in the tournament and they had conceded only once with the team determined to win the U-23 crown.

Yusuph Muhilu should have given Tanzaania the lead in the 12th minute but the striker blasted over from close range.

Issa Hakizimana came close for Burundi in the 18th minute, the winger did well to create space for himself before firing an effort narrowly wide.

Poor finishing was a determining factor which saw both sides go into the halftime break with scores level at 0-0.

Meshack Abraham came close to giving Taifa Stars the lead 10 minutes after the halftime break but his effort from distance was palmed away by Rukundo Onesime.

Jamir Matheo squandered an opportunity to after the hour mark, the midfielder was picked out by Raoul Vyamungu but managed to blast over from 12-yards out.

Sospeter Jajana then passed up a chance to give Tanzania the lead in the 74th minute as he headed wide of the mark from point-blank range.

Matecha Mnata came to Taifa Stars’ rescue in the 82nd minute, the shot-stopper pulled off a fine save to keep out Karim Barandondera’s stinging effort from distance.

Poor finishing in front of goal let both sides down on the night, as the match went into a penalty shootout after it ended in a 0-0 draw.

Tanzania went on to win 6-5 on penalties after Asman Ndikumana placed his effort from 12 yards over the crossbar in sudden death.

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