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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

CAF Confederation Cup: Singida Big Stars in excellent position following dominant first leg victory

Tanzanian club Singida Big Stars brought in plenty of reinforcements for the 2023-24 season and got their CAF Confederation Cup campaign off to an excellent start on Friday in Dar es Salaam with a 4-1 first leg victory over Zanzibar’s JKU Sports Club. All four goals were scored by new signings with former AS Vita Club playmaker Marouk Tchakei converting two penalty kicks while Morice Chukwu and Duke Abuya also contributed goals. The two teams will meet again in Dar es Salaam for the second leg on August 27.

The difference in quality was clear to see in the early stages with Singida eager to overcome a disappointing performance in the Tanzanian Community Shield that saw them finish fourth out of four teams. Within five minutes the hosts had the lead through Tchakei, who finished easily past JKU goalkeeper Yakoub Ali after a cross was handled in the penalty area.

Singida put themselves beyond reach at the end of the first half. Tchakei was called upon again to convert from the spot after Abuya was fouled and the Togolese national team player fired his shot through Ali to double the lead. Three minutes later the Nigerian midfielder Chukwu unleashed a blast from distance that looped over Ali to give the former Rivers United player his first goal for the club.

After the halftime break it took less than two minutes for Abuya to find the net himself by intercepting an errant headed pass before driving in from the left wing and firing past Ali. JKU rallied to find a consolation goal in the 63rd minute courtesy of risky play from former Simba SC defender Joash Onyango, whose ill-advised play in his own penalty box resulted in an interception and the awarding of a penalty kick that was dispatched by Saleh Abdulla.

Highlights from the first leg are below.