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Bandari hope for Wadri magic in Sunday final

Bandari FC forward William Wadri (centre) celebrates his goal against Simba SC during the semi finals of the SportPesa Super Cup on January 25, 2019.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Forward William Wadri has been twice voted as man of the match at the SportPesa Cup here in Dar es Salaam, his scintillating displays and two goals off set-pieces playing a vital role in seeing Bandari qualify for the final in their debut.

The Ugandan who joined the dockers at the start of last season from Ugandan side Maroons hopes that he can maintain the magic as Bandari faces Kariobangi Sharks in Sunday afternoon’s final at the National Stadium.

“I think that puts me under some little pressure because I have to work hard and show that it has not been a fluke. I have to maintain the hard work and probably do more. It has not been easy the past two games, but getting man of the match for both matches has really motivated me,” Wadri noted.

Head coach Bernard Mwalala has also praised the influence of the dreadlocked-silent assasint noting he has been at the centre of Bandari’s attack in the tournament.

“I think he has done really well over those two games and getting man of the match in all is not a fluke. It shows that he has that class and I am really happy with how he has performed so far. Not only him but the whole team as well,” Mwalala said.

Bandari FC forward William Wadri (centre) vies for the ball with Simba SC’s Nicholas Gyan and Haruna Niyonzima during the semi finals of the SportPesa Super Cup on January 25, 2019.

The 24-year old has played for Proline, Kampala City Council and Vipers in the Ugandan top tier before moving on loan to police in the 2016/2017 season then to Maroons and finally to Bandari.

Last season he bagged nine goals in his debut year in Kenya’s top tier and this season after eight games, he has scored twice.

But, biggest on his mind right now is clinching the Sportpesa Cup title and earning the right to play Everton FC in a friendly match next July.

“It will be a tough game because these are two teams familiar with each other. Everyone wants it and it will take some hard work and determination to be the ultimate winners. We believe in ourselves as a team and hopefully we win the trophy,” Wadri noted.

Bandari FC goalkeeper Faruk Shikhalo celebrates after Wilberforce Lugogo’s goal during their SportPesa Cup semi-final match against Tanzania’s Simba SC at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on January 25, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

His sentiments are echoed by keeper Faruk Shikhalo who has also played a starring role for the side in their quest for the title and especially their win over Simba on Friday evening.

Shikhalo has called on his teammates to draw in their last straws of effort and ensure the Cup takes the shorter roite from Dar es Salaam, straight to Mombasa.

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“It will be very tough. Good thing is that the trophy is going back to Kenya and that is good, But we want to win it. The players have that belief because we have come from so far and wi think it is possible,” the shot stopper further stated.

Bandari upset the form books when they beat home side and pre-tournament favorites Simba with a 2-1 scoreline in a scintillating final on Friday and head coach Bernard Mwalala pointed the performance to growing belief within the group of players.

Mwalala now hopes his boys can carry that same belief to the final.

Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala during a training session at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam on January 25, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We executed our tactic well not to allow Simba play and everything worked out to our plan. We pressed high and attacked and that made us score twice after going down by a goal,”

“The players knew that this was their chance to show the continent that they are worth it, and earn a chance to play Everton. The mental preparedness was great and they fought so hard. They took this as their last chance. It will be a tough final but we are ready for it,” the tactician further noted.

Bandari will have beautiful memories of their last meeting with Sharks and will hope that this will be a recurrence of the same. The dockers won 3-0 at their Mbaraki Sports Complex when these two sides last met in July last year.

Prior to that, Sharks had won all their previous top flight meetings 1-0.

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