We are ready for Cranes, Eritrea’s Haile declares


We are ready for Cranes, Eritrea's Haile declares
Eritrea coach Efrem Haile during a training session at the CECAFA Senior Challenge in Uganda. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

In Summary

  • Eritrea on Tuesday humiliated seven-time champions Harambee Stars with 4-1 score, storming into the finals for the first time ever in the competition founded in 1927, where they play Uganda Cranes on Thursday
  • A confident Haile, just like he was before the Kenya's match, says he respects Cranes but has no fear for them
Jacob Icia in Kampala

After dispatching champions Kenya in the semifinals of the ongoing CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, Eritrea head coach Efrem Haile is bullish his charges are ready for hosts Uganda.

Eritrea on Tuesday humiliated seven-time champions Harambee Stars with 4-1 score, storming into the finals for the first time ever in the competition founded in 1927, where they play Uganda Cranes on Thursday.

A confident Haile, just like he was before the Kenya’s match, says he respects Cranes but has no fear for them.

“I don’t care about the loss to Uganda in the group stage. We have seen how they play and we picked our lessons from the loss. We now know how to handle them, we are not afraid,” charged the coach, who lost 2-0 to Uganda in their group A clash.

Haile noted his joy was not in the big margin of goals against Stars, but the masterly of the philosophy he has been working on in his players.

“I was thrilled to see the simplicity witj which my team executed our plan against a strong side. That gives me confidence that we are getting somewhere. In the final there only one intention, to win the trophy and we want to do it,” Haile added.

Uganda’s Jonathan McKinstry remained calm, saying he knew Eritrea were as potent as they exhibited against Kenya, noting the final will be a cracker.

“I honestly had told my staff I would love to watch Kenya play Eritrea because I knew they had what they needed to trouble the champions. We now face them in the final, and I want to win.
“Not only myself, but all the players are hungry for a trophy. Most of them until two weeks ago had not played in such a tournament except Mutyaba (Muzamiru) and they really want to win,” said the Irish tactician.

Uganda have won all their matches so far, the only side to keep a 100 percent record in the 2019 Senior Challenge edition.

The last time Uganda hosted the tournament was in 2012, and went on to lift the trophy.

The Thursday final kicks off at 3:45pm at the KCCA Lugogo Stadium, Kampala, after the third-place playoff pitting Kenya and Tanzania.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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