Stars, Cranes pose for historic match

Friday September 7 2018

National Soccer team players train at national

National Soccer team players train at national stadium. PHOTO | FILE 

By Majuto Omary @majutoy2k

Dar es Salaam. National soccer teams, Taifa Stars against Uganda counterpart is historical for the two teams ahead of the qualification of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) to be held next year in Cameroon.

National soccer team, Taifa Stars head coach, Emmanuel Amunike targets to stop losing streak to Uganda’s counterparts, The Cranes coach, Frenchman and Uganda tactician Sebastien Desabre’s also aim to win the encounter as he lead the team for the first time at the home soil since replacing Micho Sredojevic last December.

Both teams are comprising foreign based players. As Taifa Stars will comprise nine players who feature in various abroad league, most of The Cranes players also play outside the nation.

The players are; Hassan Kessy who play for Nkana Red Devils of Zambia, Abdi Banda (Baroka , South Africa), Himid Mao (Petrojet, Egypt), Simon Msuva (Al Jaida, Morocco), Rashid Mandawa (BDF, Botswana), Mbwana Samatta (KRC Genk, Beligium), Thomas Ulimwengu (Al Hilal, Sudan), Shaaban Idd (Tenerife, Spain) and Farid Mussa also from Tenerife, Spain.

The move makes the encounter unpredictable despite the domination of Uganda against Tanzania.

Amunike also will be overseeing the first match since he replaced Salum Mayanga who his contract was expired. The Nigerian legend seeks to break the jinx as Taifa Stars is yet to win single match since 2010 in both international friendlies.

Uganda is now at the top with three points while Tanzania and Lesotho are placed second with one point each in group L. Cape Verde is at the bottom with no point.

Victory is very sweet for all teams in order to revive its qualifications hope to next year’s finals in Cameroon.

Amunike said most of the players are in top shape and target victory against Ugandan side.

“My philosophy is to play the ball when losing and gaining possession, we have trained for that and we are sure to give the best,” said Amunike before departing to Uganda yesterday.

Amunike also called his players not to take Uganda for granted. “It will be tough encounter; we will put lots of emphasis on our teamwork,” he said.

The encounter will see the two teams meet for the first time with the new coaches.

Desabre’s men who will be playing the first game at the home ground is also determined to continue with the its best record against Tanzania which will be under the captain, Mbwana Samatta, who scored a hat-trick recently as Genk downed Brondby of Denmark in a Europa League qualifiers.

“I have played against very many good forwards better than Mbwana Samatta, I will handle him,” said The Cranes defender, Juuko Murshid.

Due to important of the encounter, Uganda’s football governing body (Fufa) has increased the entrance fees. The match is the talk of the two countries and fans will have to pay Uganda Shillings 15,000 (Sh10,000) for ordinary seats while Sh40,000 (Tsh25,000) for VIP and Sh150,000 (Tsh91,000).