Mainland Tanzania national soccer team meet Rwanda in the first quarterfinal match of the ongoing Senior Challenge cup championship at the Kampala City Council’s Lugogo Stadium in Kampala today.
Both teams have qualified into this stage after each losing a match at the group stages last week.
Familiarity between players of the two teams is likely to liven the encounter this afternoon.
While Kilimanjaro Stars were beaten at the semi-final stage during the previous edition, Rwanda lost on post match penalties to eventual winners Uganda.
Rwanda will be under their inspirational midfielder Haruna Niyonzima who features for Mainland pacemakers Young Africans.
The match is expected to be a thriller going by the team’s recent performance enroute to the quarterfinal stages.
Winning the match is vital for the Kilimanjaro Stars who have been in superb form this time under their Danish coach Kim Poulsen.
The team is well organised and looks to be heading to glory though Rwanda are a team to reckon with in this tournament.
Losing two finals in the last four editions of the tournament keeps Rwanda in quest to erase the memory and play with determination.
Kilimanjaro Stars have not won a title in Kampala since the tournament was inaugurated in 1973.
The last time Mainland team reached the Challenge Cup final at Kampala was in 1973 and lost to hosts by 2-1 goals.
The only foreign Challenge Cup silverware for the Mainland team was attained in Nairobi during the 1974 championship.
The quick recovery of midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto has been a huge boost to the Tanzanians who are in strong quest to pass through the quarterfinal stage.
The match will be followed by another quarterfinal between Zanzibar Heroes and Burundi to be played at the Lugogo venue.
Two other last eight matches will be played tomorrow when twelve times winners and hosts Uganda meet Ethiopia and the other is between Kenya and Malawi at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
The Tanzanian team need to cruse into the last four of the championship at least to have an opportunity to have a share of the prize fund package as eventual winners has $30,000 to take home.
Winning the second title in three years will be Kim Poulsen’s dream too emulate his predecessor Jan whose heroics are still fresh in the memories of the domestic fans.
The Nelson Mandela Stadium is expected to be in good shape today after a huge rest yesterday.
The venue has been in devastating form after rains soaked the pitch to cause hardship to the players during the group stage matches.