by ALEX ISABOKE on December 9, 2013
NAIROBI, Kenya, December 9 Sudan are through to the semi finals of the GOtv Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, after sending the Walia Ibex of Ethiopia home with a 2-0 win at Aga khan Stadium in Mombasa County on Sunday.
The surprise team of the tournament will play guest team Zambia after the Copper Bullets forced their way to the last four by edging out stubborn Burundi 4-3 on post-match spot kicks after both sides played out to a barren stalemate in the earlier match at the same venue.
Hosts Kenya and Tanzania who booked their semi slots on Saturday complete the last for line-up with the deciders for the December 12 finals being played on Tuesday at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
In the third quarterfinal, Salahadin Bargecho scored an own goal to give the Nile Crocodiles the opener, before Salah
Ibrahim netted the second to seal the victory.
Walia Ibex threatened in the early minutes of the game with Yousuf Yassin testing Sudan keeper Abdelrahman Ali, with a low shot but the custodian punched the ball away before his defenders hacked the ball clear.
Sudan weathered the storm and then piled pressure on the Walias back four, and it finally paid when Bargecho turned the ball into his own net from a Sudan corner in the 20th minute.
Four minutes later Yassin thought he had equalised after turning the ball to the net, but his effort was flagged offside and the forward was at it again but he placed his shot in the 32nd wide as the Crocodiles managed to hold on their lead to the break.
Sudan came out for the second half blazing as Ibrahim received a fine pass from Miazz Abdelrahman to loop the ball over Ethiopian keeper, Derete Alemu, to extend his tally to four for the tournament and stand alone on top of the goal scoring chats.
The winners almost grabbed a third through substitute Abdelmonem Mohamed but his shot was directed straight at the hands of Alemu but their place in the semis was assured when referee Davis Omweno from Kenya blew for full time.
In the early kick-off, 2012 African champions, Chipolopolo of Zambia, needed the lottery of post-match penalties to edge out the hard fighting Swallows after both sides huffed and puffed to a 0-0 draw at regulation.
Fielding some of their stars from their 2012 Nations Cup triumph including one half of the Katongo brothers, Felix, it was little known custodian Toaster Nsabata who emerged the hero after stopping three Burundian penalties to see his side through.
The sides were deadlocked at 3-3 after the first five spot kicks, with Zambia scoring through Katongo, Bornwell Mwape and Kondwani Mtonga while Alex Ngonga and Kabaso Chongo missed.
The Swallows netted through Duhavinavye Gael, Nduwarigira Christophe and Razak Fiston with Moussa Mossi and Harerimana Rashid seeing their efforts saved by Nsabata.
In sudden death, Situmbeko scored for the guest team as Hakizimana Issas penalty was saved by Nsabata to send the Burundi team home.
Hosts Kenya who edged out Rwanda 1-0 in the quarters will get the last four programme underway against the Kilimanjaro Stars who sent defending champions Uganda crashing out 3-2 on post-match penalties after a 2-2 draw while playing with ten men for most of the second half.
Zambia will then take on the Sudan who have turned out to the most obdurate side in the tournament.