ZAMBIA cruised into the quarterfinals of the Cecafa Tusker challenge Cup in fashion after defeating Somalia 6-0, as Rwanda's Amavubi also booked their place in the knock-out stage despite a goalless draw with Zanzibar Heroes.
In the late kick-off match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar Heroes looked out of sort for most part of the game and had their head coach Stuart Hall sent off by Uganda's referee Ali Kalyango after 76th minutes.
The draw dented Zanzibar's hopes of reaching the quarterfinal stage as it left them on four points, while the Rwandans reached five points that put them through.
Zanzibar should now wait for the results of Sunday's clash between Ivory Coast and Sudan. Their best hopes, however, will be for the two best-loser slots.
The Amavubi reached five points Rwanda could have taken the lead after just five minutes when Heroes defender Nadir Haroub gifted the ball to Peter Kagabo, but the Yanga defender made quick amend of his mistake with a timely block to deny the Amavubi striker, who had rifled a powerful shot from barely six yards.
The Amavubi had another two attempts in the 6th and 17th through skipper Haruna Niyozima and Dady Birori, before Haroub was forced into a goal-line clearance as Rwanda missed their best opportunity of the half.
Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza drew fine save from goalkeeper Ali Mwadini and moments later Zanzibar came into the scene with Suleiman Kassim sending a decent effort off target.
The Islanders' first attempt on target came in the final minute of the opening half through Kassim's free kick from the edge of the box. That, in fact was the only meaningful attack by Hall's side before the interval.
Zanzibar looked little livelier after the restart and managed several attacks early on but lacked the cutting edge.
Rwanda had a goal disallowed for offside in the 71st minute, while Khamis Mcha Khamis threw away Zanzibar's best chance in the 76th.
Seconds later, Birori went even closer to open the scoring for Rwanda. He saw his shot bounce off the crossbar and wrongly placed his follow up shot.
In the lunch time kick-off, Felix Sunzu bagged a quartet, while Allan Makuka and Venecious Mapande were also on target as Zambia eased to all three points to move to the top of group A, that also comprises Mainland soccer team Kilimanjaro Stars and Burundi.
The two meet today to decide which team will join Zambia from the group.
Sunzu broke the deadlock on 25 minutes with a well taken shot from inside the area. He added the second two minutes later and Zambia were 3 up after 28th with Makuka the goal scorer.
Sunzu bagged his hat-trick from a spot kick and scored his fourth goal and fifth for Zambia after the restart.
It was almost like a training session for Zambia given their possession and Mapande nodded home ten minutes before time to put some gloss on the win.