Tanzania Taifa Stars put one foot into the second round of the Caf Orange African Cup of Nations qualifer after a hard fought 1-0 win over hard fighting Zimbabwe Warriors in an entertaining match played at the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam.
Tanzania begun the game like a house on fire as they fired from all cylinder perhaps looking for an early break as Zimbabwe remained adamant cooling off the pressure with their compact defence.
However John Bocco scored the all important goal in the 13th minute with a cool finish past hardworking Warriors keeper George Chigova who to give Taifa Stars the deserved lead .
Despite the goal Zimbabwe remained relentless as Kudakwashe Mahachi combination with Patson Jaure asked questions on the Tanzanian defence held by Nadir “Cannavaro”Haroub who thwarted all moves by the midfiled dynamo.
In the 38th minute Tendai Ndoro’s long range shot went just inches wide with Taifa Stars keeper Deogratus Munishi well beaten .
The second half was more electryfying as TP Mazembe star player Mbwana Samatta who only arrived for the game afew hours before the kick off had is brilliant shot on target punched out by Warriors keeper George Kigova who was the busier of the two keepers as Tanzaia pilled pressure looking for a second goal.
Zimbabwe Warriors however remained relentless as they fought tooth and nail trying to pull a goal back an in the 64th minute Kelvin Yondani recovered on time to stop impressive Kudakwashe Mahachi who had acres of space to put the ball in by Yondani was the hero as he blocked the attempt.
The dying minutes was laden with swift attacking from both sides as the defenders were put on notice in the do or die clash that was well officiated by referee Joseph Lamtey from Ghana.
Taifa Stars managed to hold on to the solitary goal gifting their new Dutch coach Mart Nooj with his first win incharge in his first game as Taifa Stars coach since being appointed to take over from Kim Poulsen.
Zimbabwe Warriors will need to pull all strength in the second leg to be played in Harare to try and stop the sturborn Taifa Stars who walked home all smiles after the hard fought win.
Taifa Stars starting 11:
Munishi,Kapombe,Joshua,Haroub,Domayo,Yondani,Kazimoto,Bocco,Samatta,Ulimwengu and Ngasa