December 8, 2021

Cecafa U17: Yahya, Abbas power Tanzania past Rwanda for opening victory

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The teams had to play on Monday instead of Saturday after the fixtures were rejigged following the disqualification of South Sudan

Tanzania started their Cecafa U17 Championship with a convincing 3-1 win over hosts Rwanda in Rubavu on Monday.

Kassim Yahya and Omar Abbas scored for the victors while Rwanda grabbed the only goal courtesy of Eric Irihamye.

Yahya scored the opener in the 10th minute before Abbas scored in the 14th and in the 61st minute to earn a brace and seal an opening victory for Tanzania.

Irihamye’s 18th-minute goal could only postpone but not stop Tanzania’s charge towards victory in a match that was rescheduled from Saturday to Monday.

Cecafa rescheduled the whole programme of the tournament after disqualifying South Sudan following a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test that revealed four players were over-aged.

Meanwhile, the South Sudan Football Association met with the players for the first time since they were ejected out of the tournament.

“South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) today has held a meeting with a delegation of the national U17 team to encourage and restore the youngsters’ hope, following their disqualification from Cecafa 2020 U17 zonal competition,” the federation said on Monday.

“On Friday last week in Rwanda, four of the national team U17s failed the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, leading to the disqualification of the whole squad.”

The SSFA admitted they do not possess MRI kits and hopes Caf will supply them with some to avoid such occurrences in future.

“The management of SSFA expressed regret and advised the squad never to lose hope and continue with their normal football activities,” it added.

“Assuring the players of its commitment to address the challenge to Confederation of African Football (CAF) in order to acquire equipment for the examination to be carried out in the country before commencing preparations for external competitions to avoid such incidents in the future.”

The meeting was attended by the president of the SSFA, Amin Francis, Secretary-General Anthony John, and members of the Board of Directors; Wiyual Lam, Abd Al Rahman Chol and Thiong John.

Cecafa will take a pause on Tuesday before Kenya and Ethiopia, who drew 2-2 in their respective opener, as well as Tanzania and Rwanda, take to the pitch on Wednesday.

The top two teams will represent the region in the 2021 African Cup of Nations finals to be held in Morocco.