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Stars seek bronze lining in CECAFA cloud

Harambee Stars players celebrate their goal against Tanzania during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Group B opener at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

KAMPALA, Uganda, Dec 19 – Harambee Stars will take to the pitch against Tanzania on Thursday afternoon, looking to add some glimmer of happiness to the cloud of the Eritrean semi-final beating when they face the Kilimanjaro Stars in the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup bronze medal match.

Sh1mn and some bragging rights to take back home are at stake for the dethroned defending champions who were knocked off their perch by a resolute Eritrean side who hit them 4-1 in the semi finals on Tuesday.

Head coach Francis Kimanzi says the team will go out to fight for some honor and go back home with something, insisting his side will not be affected by the shock result against the Eritreans.

“Of course we have to be ready for that. It is another fight coming on and we can make it. It’s over for us in the final but we still have another chance to see whether the boys can bounce back again,” the tactician stated.

Harambee Stars players tussle with Tanzanians during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup Group B opener at the Lugogo Arena in Kampala on December 8, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

This will be a repeat of the first group stage match where Stars won by a solitary goal courtesy of an Abdallah Hassan strike in the fourth minute and the tactician knows it will be a tough assignment against the Kili Stars.

Tanzania head coach Juma Mgunda also expects a tough tie, knowing that Stars will come all guns blazing in a bid to bounce back from the loss to Eritrea.

“We cannot look at them cheaply because of their loss to Eritrea. We know they are a very good team and we faced them in the first match so we know. But for us as well, we want to finish the competition on a high and go home with something at least,” Mgunda stated.

Tanzania lost by a solitary goal to hosts Uganda in the semis courtesy of an 88th minute Fahad Bayo goal, a match they thought they should have done better.

Harambee Stars head coach Farncis Kimanzi (left) consults with his assistant Zedekiah Otieno during a training session in Namugongo, Kampala on December 13, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

They will miss the services of keeper Aishi Manula who picked up an injury in the semi, and probably, Gor Mahia shot stopper David ‘Kisu’ Mapigano might be given an opportunity to run out as he hasn’t played a single match in the competition so far.

Meanwhile, Stars boss Kimanzi says he will make changes to his squad as well, to ensure he gives an opportunity to everyone to get a taste of top flight action.

Keeper Timothy Odhiambo might be considered for a run out if his injury picked up as they arrived in Uganda has healed while the likes of Anthony Wambani, Musa Masika and Clifton Miheso might also earn a start with Kevin Kimani out injured.

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