Taifa Stars ready for Harambee Stars
The national soccer team, Taifa Stars and Kenya`s Harambee Stars meet in the Africa Cup of Championship unpredictable match at Nyayo National Stadium this afternoon.
Both teams forced a barren draw in their last friendly match played in Dar es Salaam about two years ago.
The match is expected to be unpredictable because players who form both teams know each other very well as they have been meeting in the regional events such as East and Central Africa Club Championship and Senior Challenge Cup.
The East Africa Region soccer is also the same.
Taifa Stars head coach Marcio Maximo said on Thursday that his team was in a better shape to win today`s game despite the fact that they had missed Wednesday`s international trial against Mozambique.
“Although we did not play the match but I am confident with my team because it is formed by players who play for their clubs in CAF competitions.“ Maximo said.
The team is formed by most players who play for Yanga and Simba who are currently competing in the Champions League and Confederation Cup, respectively.
The Brazilian tactician is expected to field Farouk Ramadhani as goalkeeper while the likes of Fred Mbuna, Nadir Haroub `Canavaro`, Salum Sued, Kelvin Yondani, Henry Joseph and Shaban Nditi and Amir Maftah will be eyeing to stop Harambee Stars` strikers from reaching the visitors` posts.
Ulimboka Mwakingwe, Uhuru Suleiman Jerry Tegete, Mrisho Ngasa and Emmanuel Gabriel will be strikers.
Meanwhile, Harambee Stars coach Jacob Mulee on Thursday dropped five players ahead of the match.
Consequently, there are only 22 players ready to play Stars.
The axe fell on Eric Otieno, Dan Odhiambo, Abdi Simba, David Okal and John Onami.
“I have settled on a team of 22 for the championship match after our friendly match against Gor Mahia,“ Mulee said.
He defended Harambee Stars performance in the match, which they lost 0-1 on Wednesday saying the purpose of the tie was to identify and seal loopholes in the team.
“We were not out to score because I believe the players were keeping their best for Saturday,“ he said.
Commissioner for Sports in Kenya Gordon Oluoch said each of the 25 members of the team would be provided with a 21-inch colour television if they beat Tanzania and qualify for the next round.
“We know that even though playing for a national team is an honour in itself, we hope that these incentives will further boost the morale of our beloved team and inspire our talented players,“ Mulee was quoted as saying.