Mgunda eyes revenge as Kenya, Tanzania battle for CECAFA bronze


Mgunda eyes revenge as Kenya, Tanzania battle for CECAFA bronze

In Summary

  • The 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup curtains will come down on Thursday evening with Uganda Cranes and Red Sea Boys of Eritrea locking horns in the final, preceded by yet another East African derby pitting Kenya and Tanzania at 1pm.
  • The two matches set for the KCCA Lugogo Stadium, Kampala will be a repeat of the group stage fixtures as Tanzania played Kenya in their championship opener, the latter winning 1-0.
 Jacob Icia in Kampala

The 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup curtains will come down on Thursday evening with Uganda Cranes and Red Sea Boys of Eritrea locking horns in the final, preceded by yet another East African derby pitting Kenya and Tanzania at 1pm.

The two matches set for the KCCA Lugogo Stadium, Kampala will be a repeat of the group stage fixtures as Tanzania played Kenya in their championship opener, the latter winning 1-0.

Uganda, led by Irishman Jonathan McKinstry, won  their Group A tie against Eritrea 2-0, thus the playoff and the final will be about stamping authority by the previous winners or pulling a revenge by the vanguished sides.

Kenya’s Francis Kimanzi was particular that his charges were over confident against Eritrea in the semifinal, and would want to see real character from his charges in the playoff.

“Against Eritrea we psychologically tried to psyche the players but sometimes I know it has something to do with the thought that it looks easy from a distance but it is not easy until it’s over. We will try and restore our pride in the match but most importantly it is another opportunity for me to see the players I have been monitoring. Some have shown they can be part of our big plan in the senior team,” said Kimanzi.

He hinted players who have not had much game time could be given an opportunity in the playoff, although only goalkeeper Timothy Odhiambo of Ulinzi Stars has not participated in the campaign.

Kilimanjaro Stars head coach Juma Mgunda says there is everything to fight for in their last match, after missing the final ticket by a whisker. They fell 0-1 to Uganda in their semis clash.

“Anytime we play Kenya there is something special about that match. It is a derby that no one wants to lose. Recently we have played them (Kenya) so many times( in Chan) and we hope to get our strategy right on Thursday.

“Who says it is not important? Why then is it called a third-place playoff? We will compete knowing we lost our first match to Kenya but we saw where we went wrong,” offered Mgunda.

Tanzania’s local based players eliminated Kenya’s such side in the 2020 African Nations Championship qualifiers, and are using the tournament to prepare for upcoming 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

With Simba Sports Club goalkeeper Aishi Manula injured, Yanga’s Metacha Mnata is expected to stand between the sticks for Kilimanjaro despite his communication blunder that gifted Uganda their lone goal against them in the semifinal, with Gor Mahia’s David Mapigano also contending for the jersey.

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