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Uganda-Tanzania: Okwi confident but warns Cranes teammates

Group L table leaders Uganda need a win to maintain dream of a second successive qualification to Africa Cup of Nations

NAMBOOLE | Emmanuel Okwi has played about seven years in Tanzania with giants Simba SC and Young Africans. He is currently enjoying a good spell with the former after emerging top scorer as they won the league after dethroning their eternal rivals, Yanga.

On Saturday, the Cranes star is expected to lead a line of attack against Tanzania in the second match of the 2019 Group L Africa cup of Nations qualifier at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

He believes he understands the opponents very well. The Taifa Stars’ defenders have also stated the same about him. Okwi believes in his abilities but has more belief in teamwork.

“It’s always difficult to play against people who understand you very well but we (Uganda) have always played as a team before and won. It’s a new challenge to me which am looking forward to,” Okwi said.

Uganda has won four and drawn one of the last six duels against Tanzania but Okwi has warned his mates against underrating the Emmanuel Amunike-coached side and stresses on team work.

“They’re looking so much to get the three points. They will put up a good fight well knowing that if they lose the game, they remain in a bad position,” he said.

“So I expect them to throw everything at us. It will be a do-or-die game but I believe we’ll overcome them. They fight collectively so we also have to be compact and fight as a team.”

Uganda leads the table with three points thanks to an 83rd minute goal by Geoffrey Sserunkuma in Cape Verde.

Tanzania ready

Taifa Stars head coach Emmanuel Amunike has promised to challenge strongly with hopes of picking his first win following his appointment over a month ago.

The Stars were forced to a 1-1 draw at home to Lesotho in the first game. He understands the challenge of facing Uganda at their Namboole fortress but says those are games his team must overcome if they are to qualify to the big stage.

“They’re a very good team and solid at home. We are not yet in our best shape, there is work to do but we need to pick a result to keep our hopes alive in the group,” Amunike told media in Tanzania before
departing on Thursday.

The coach has already shown his seriousness with a bold move after dropping several Simba players for delaying to arrive in camp.

The match will kick off at 4PM in Namboole.

Tanzania squad
Goalkeepers: Aishi Manula (Simba SC), Benno Kakolanya (Yanga SC) and Mohammed Abdulrahman Wawesha (JKU).
Defenders: Hassan Kessy (Nkana FC, Zambia), Abdi Banda (Baroka FC, RSA), David Mwantika (Azam FC), Ally Sonso (Lipuli FC), Paul Ngalema (Lipuli FC), Gardiel Michael (Yanga SC), Kelvin Yondan (Yanga SC), Andrew Vincent ‘Dante’ (Yanga SC) and Aggrey Morris (Azam FC).
Midfielders: Himid Mao (Petrojet, Egypt), Salum Kimenya (Tanzania Prisons), Frank Raymond Domayo (Azam FC), Salum Kihimbwa (Mtibwa Sugar), Mudathir Yahya (Azam FC), Farid Mussa (CD Tenerife, Spain) and Simon Msuva (Difaa Hassan El-Jadidi, Morocco).
Forwards: Yahya Zayed (Azam FC), Kelvin Sabato (Mtibwa Sugar), Shaaban
Iddi Chilunda (CD Tenerife, Spain), Rashid Mandawa (BDF XI, Botswana),
Thomas Uli mwengu (El Hilal Omdurman, Sudan) and Mbwana Ally Samatta
(KRC Genk, Belgium).

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