Tanzania emerges as the Copa Coca Cola Africa 2019 Champions after beating Zimbabwe 6-2 in a thrilling finale played at the M-Pesa Foundation Academy in Thika.
Zambia on the other hand claimed third position after posting an entertaining 2-1 win over hosts Kenya in the third place play-off game played earlier at the same venue.
In the final, Zimbabwe drew first blood when orward Inasio Perelo evaded a couple of challenges before slotting home the first of the eight goals scored in this match. This elicited a reaction from the Tanzanian youngsters, as Paul Nyerere restored parity in the 12th minute before putting his side into the lead in the 17th minute with a sumptuous header following a delivery from Frank Sefania. Haroun Ndile added a third for Tanzania in the 25th minute with a stinging shot before Ronald Uraya, manning the Zimbabwe goal, misjudged a cross from defender Mohammed Ra that sailed straight into his net a minute later. Tanzania pressure was to pay at the half hour mark with Nyerere grabbing his hat trick after not only finding himself with only the keeper to beat but also taking his chance well. Boniface Rafael scored Tanzania’s sixth goal four minutes after resumption before the losers managed a consolation through another penalty from Shauri Anyimike.
Paul Nyerere from Tanzania won the Golden Boot award for the tournament after scoring seven goals, Mwamba Mathews from Zambia won the Golden Glove while the Most Valuable Player award went to Luke Musikiri from Zimbabwe.
Tanzania coach Abel Mutweve, had this to say, “We exited this competition in quarterfinals last year and we have gone all the way this year. I want to laud my charges for playing very well throughout the tournament. I am excited about the future of these lads. They will be a great asset to Tanzanian football.”