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Zanzibar expect tough duel against Stars

Zanzibar players during their 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup opening match against Sudan on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – Zanzibar head coach Suleiman ‘Morocco’ Hemedi expects a tough duel against Kenya’s Harambee Stars when they meet in a crucial 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Group B final match at the Lugogo Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Zanzibar are on one point in the competition and their hopes of qualifying to the last four will hinge on them beating Stars, while the Kenyans are looking to win the tie to assure themselves of a top spot finish and avoid hosts Uganda in the semis.

In a repeat of last year’s final, Hemedi has warned his charges that Kenya will be a tough nut to crack but maintains they will go in and give a fight to try qualify for the semis.

“We want to try and win our last game of the group. I know Kenya is a very good team, they are organized with talented players and that is why you see they have won both their games. They play in a disciplined structure and it’s a tough team to beat,” Hemedi told Capital Sport.

Zanzibar players celebrate their goal against Sudan during their 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup opening match on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We faced each other last time in the final and some players who played that final are still here so they know what to expect. Ours is to go all out and try to get victory,” he added.

Zanzibar picked up a point in a 1-1 draw against Sudan but went down by a solitary goal to Tanzania in their Tanganyika Derby. The tactician blamed the loss on poor concentration and also admits they have a striking problem.

“We played really well (against Tanzania) but lost concentration and we were punished. We will try work on our striking because we have a problem in that we create chances but we have just scored once in two games,” the coach further insinuated.

A victory for Zanzibar against Kenya by more than two goals will see them qualify for the semis if Sudan and Tanzania draw in the other group match. Victory for Tanzania will see them qualify while victory for Sudan by a margin of more than three goals might also see them through.

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