AS Vita leave it late
2012 Cecafa Kagame Cup
AS Vita 2-1 Atletico
Simba 1-3 Azam
Basilua Makola’s last-minute winner saw AS Vita Club strengthen their bid for a maiden Cecafa Kagame Cup title as they edged Burundi’s Atletico Olympic 2-1 in yesterday’s quarter-final match at Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar es Salaam.
At the end of normal time, the game was poised at 1-all and seemed like it would be decided in penalty shootouts until Makola popped up to convert from close range in the final minute of stoppage time.
The goal came somewhat against the run of play, with Cedric Kaze’s side appearing to kill off the game.
The clash was not only a battle between pedigree and youthful exuberance but also affirmed the cliché that football is a game of two halves.
The Congolese began well with the Atletico goalkeeper Aboubakar Ndayisenga pulling off a great double save from Kazadi Mutombo.
However, Ndayisenga could do nothing to prevent the 1973 African Champions from taking a 1-0 half time lead through Taddy Etekiama.
But with the words of Cedric Kaze clearly ringing in their ears, Atletico were the dominant force as the second half took shape and it was not long before Pierre Kwizera equalized for the Burundian side.
Far from the force they were prior to half time, the Congolese side still had their moments and continued to harass the Atletico defence.
“It was a difficult game because Atletico played very well,” AS Vita coach Medard Lusadisu conceded.
“They may not have many outstanding individual players but their teamwork and fighting spirit makes them very difficult to beat,” he added.
His opposite number Kaze cut a disappointed face after the loss.
“We are disappointed because we played well and deserved more from this game. We gave everything and had chances to win it,” a frustrated Kaze said before adding, “But a lapse in concentration cost us the game and we now have to go back and build on the positives from the tournament.”
Vita will now play Azam in the last four. Azam strolled into the last four after a comfortable 3-1 victory over rivals Simba.