NAKURU, Kenya, Jun 7- Regarded as tournament ‘underdogs’ Tanzania’s Singida United and Kenya’s Kakamega Homeboyz will be out to pull shocks when the SportPesa Super Cup semi-finals go down at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Thursday afternoon.
Homeboyz who beat Tanzanian giants Young Africans (Yanga) 3-1 in the quarter finals will face recently crowned Tanzanian Premier League champions Simba SC in the early kick off while Singida who beat AFC Leopards on penalties will take on defending champions Gor Mahia.
Singida United tactician Suleiman Hemedi who started his tenure with the win against Leopards says he expects a tough tie against Gor but says his side’s confidence has soared and will give their all to earn a ticket to the final.
“Gor is a good team and we respect them a lot. They have achieved so much in Kenya winning the league and they have also qualified for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup. They are not a team that is a pushover,” Hemedi said looking on to the fixture.
He admitted it would be tough marking out individual players in the duel, saying that collectively, Gor’s team work is of awe.
K’Ogalo meanwhile who are looking at defending the crown will walk into the match with caution with head coach Dylan Kerr pointing out they should not underrate the Tanzanians.
“I watched them play and they are a pretty decent team. They have good players especially in attack and we can’t afford to walk in thinking we have the right to win. We have to take it very tough from the first minute, play good football, take our chances and win,” the British coach noted.
Rwandese forward Jacques Tuyisenge who started off the bench in the 3-0 quarter final win over Jeshi La Kujenga Uchumi (JKU) due to a bout of Malaria might be ready to start against Singida with Kerr expected to field his strongest squad.
Meanwhile, Homeboyz made a statement of intent in their win over Yanga and new coach Paul Nkata is eager to show it wasn’t a one-time fluke when he faces Simba.
“They are a tough team as they have just been crowned champions in Tanzania. I watched them play and I know it is going to be a tough game against them. But we will take our chances and we will go there and fight to win,” Nkata said looking ahead to Thursday afternoon’s tie.
There is a doubt on striker Allan Wanga who hit a brace against Yanga with the 33-year old forward having limped off with a back injury and will face a late fitness test.
Simba meanwhile will not be taking the tie lightly and head coach Pierre Lechantre having watched them win against Yanga, he knows they might be in for a shock.
“They are a very good team. Their physical level is good and we know they will give us a tough game. Our target is to get to the final and we will do everything possible to win and get there,” the coach added.