Kampala, Uganda: Last year’s quarter-finalists Burundi start as favourites when they take on Somalia in a Group B match of the Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup this afternoon at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Kampala.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
By Ernest Ndunda
The match that starts at 4pm will see Burundi’s coach Lofty Naseem assemble his best outfit putting in mind that he needs a good start and take the team past quarter-final.
The Egyptian coach took over Burundi’s The Swallows mid this year from Belgian Adel Amrouch and he will seek to prove that he is the right man to handle the Swallows in the next years to come.
Burundi are ranked 135 by Fifa and most of the national team players are drawn from Vital’O, who won the Burundi Premier League last season and Inter Star.
The coach will bank on Floribert Ndayisaba and Cedric Amisi for attack and try if his 1-3-4-3 system of play would bring results.
However, Somalia who use 1-4-4-2 system are not be pushovers as they are in Uganda fto prove themselves. Just to set a record of not being knocked out in the first round as has been the case since the inception of Cecafa in 1973.
Team coach Abdi Farah knows what is ahead of him this afternoon and he has instructed his boys to go for three points to enhance their chances of making it to the quarterfinals.
Farah, who was a member of the Somalia national team in 1970s, has been on and off of the national team and would like to prove a point.
Most of the players are drawn from Somalia’s leading clubs Elman, Jeenyo and Horseed. Mohammed Kadar Daher, who plays for Djibouti’s Telkom, will be the player to watch in Somalia side.
In another Group B match set to commence at 6pm, Tanzania Mainland take on Sudan in a match expected to be explosive. Tanzania have won Cecafa Senior Challenge three times and they face a side that has won the title four times.
Tanzania’s Simba, Yanga and Azam, who featured in the July Cecafa Club Championships in Dar-es-Salaam, have dominated the national team and coach Kim Poulsen is not a worried man as he has quality players to do the job.