Coach Hall hails impact of Kenyan duo as Azam storm into Mapinduzi Cup final

New acquisitions Joackins Atudo and Humphrey Mieno on target as the ice cream makers stroll into the final of the tourney at the expense of Simba
Azam FC coach Stewart Hall praised Kenyan internationals Joackins Atudo and Humphrey Mieno after the two netted crucial strikes that assisted his side overcome rivals Simba SC in a tense semi-final match at the ongoing Mapinduzi Cup tournament in Zanzibar.

Azam won the match 5-4 on post match penalties after the two teams played out to a 2-2 draw.

"I am delighted we managed to capture the two (Mieno and Atudo), they were the standout players in the Kenyan league last term and at the Cecafa tournament. As you can see, they will be vital and an integral part of the team's success," Hall told the club's official website.

Mieno - who played for Hall during the Englishman's brief stint at Sofapaka in the Kenyan league last season - opened the scoring for the ice cream makers in the 9th minute, as he rose highest to convert a corner-kick from Ibrahim Mwaipopo.

The match was temporarily halted midway through the first period following a power blackout and Simba had to wait until 13 minutes to fulltime to level matters courtesy of Rashid Ishmael's long range strike.

The match proceeded into extra time after a 1-1 draw on 90 minutes and Simba, who were seeking revenge after losing 2-0 to the same opposition in this competition during the last edition, seemed to have done enough when Emily Mgeta scored with only 5 minutes of extra time remaining.

But Azam showed spirit to come back and win a penalty from which Atudo netted his second of the tournament and third since joining the Dar-based team from Tusker in December to take the tie into post match penalties.

Azam's spot-kicks were converted by Gaudence Mwaikimba, Himid Mao, Jockins Atudo, Haji Nuhu and Malika Ndeule while Simba were thankful to Miraji Madenge, Jonas Mkude, Miraji Adam and Ramadhan Kipendamoto. Emily Mgeta missed the crucial penalty for Simba SC.

Azam - who are the tournament's defending champions - will now await the winner of the other semi-final pitting Kenyan side Tusker FC and hosts Miembeni in the final.