Kenya champions Tusker succumb to Tanzania giants Azam in Mapinduzi Cup final

The final staged at the Amaan Stadium, saw the ice cream makers give the brewers a run for their money as new signing Jesse Were finished top scorer

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker FC’s dream of grabbing the Mapinduzi Cup from holders Azam FC came to a cropper after they were beaten 2-1 by the Tanzanian giants in the final played in Zanzibar on Saturday.

The final staged at the Amaan Stadium, saw the ice cream makers give the brewers' a run for their money rallying from behind to snatch the victory.

Tusker drew the first blood at the half hour mark when new signing and prolific goal getter Jesse Were proved his pedigree yet again shaking the net to put the brewers ahead and silence the partisan crowd while at the same time taking his goal tally to five to emerge as the tournament’s top scorer.

The brewers, however, got a rude shock when their former defender Joackins Atudo returned to haunt them leveling matters from the spot in the 71st minute after the brewers skipper Joseph Shikokoti blocked the ball with his hands in the box.

Azam’s dangerman Mwaikimba Gaudence then struck late in injury time firing from outside the box to seal victory beating  custodian Samuel Odhiambo to ensure they retain the trophy.

There was a moment of drama when a lady wearing a white hijab and carrying a newspaper invaded the pitch, thus occasioning temporal stoppage in the dying minutes of the game. The centre referee guided the lady out of the pitch.

En route to the final, Tusker had a good run beating Bandari and Jamhuri before eliminating Zanzibar's Miembeni in the semi-finals. The defeat to Azam was Tusker's first since arriving in Tanzania and Zanzibar for the pre-season tour.

Tusker are expected back home on Sunday to plot for their league title defense where they are scheduled to play the opening match against Western Stima at Moi Kasarani on February 16.