Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar coaches Kim Poulsen and Salum Bausi, respectively, are relishing a successful spell in the on going Senior Challenge Cup tournament in Kampala.
Both teams have qualified into the last four having won their quarterfinal matches played at the KCC Lugogo Stadium in Kampala last Monday.
While Mainland Tanzania breezed past Rwanda, Zanzibar fought gallantly to stun Burundi in a dramatic penalty shoutouts preceded by a barren draw.
Mainland Tanzania is lined up to play against the quarterfinal winner between hosts Uganda and Ethiopia teams that were expected to meet later yesterday evening at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Zanaibar is to meet the winner, Kenya that played yesterday with Malawi team.
Poulsen said he is concentrating on training his team and does not worry over who will be the next opponent in tomorrow’s semifinal.
“My team is read to take whoever comes as they are here to compete and win”, said Poulsen.
So far there is no injury in the Mainland squad following the recovery of all-ounder Shomari Kapombe and midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto who featured during the quarterfinal tie against Rwanda.
Bausi says his boys are fired up to face any side and the motto is to post victory and sail intio the Saturday’s final.
“We are playing as a team and not fazed by oponent’s background as football is a funy game”. Said bausi whose team dispatched fancied Burundi during the dramatic shootouts.
Bausi said all Tanznaians should pary for both Mainland and Zanzibar to cruise into the final as a victory would be shared by all.
Zanzibar won the only Chalenge cup title in 1995 under coach Hafidh Badru and captain Hassan Wembe.
Zanzibar’s best performance after the 1995 victory was finishing third place during the 2009 championship staged in Kenya when they beat Mainland in the classification match after both teams lost their semifinals.
Mainland Tanzania or Kilimanjaro Stars as the team is known will be seeking to win their fourth title since the tournament was revived in 1973, replacing the Gossage Cup.
The Kili Stars rached the only final in Kampala in 1973 and lost the battle and have nenver lifted the title from the Ugandan soil since then.
Zanzibar which was taken as underdog after wining the last eight berth on best loser’s ticket, has already made its presence felt in Kampala as the semifinals kick off tomorrow.
Zanzibar’s defensive lynchpin Nassor Masoud is making steady recovery and might claim a first choice line-up in tomorrow’s semifinal.
Coach Bausi is proud of his squad and the Zanzibar team banks heavily on brilliance of goalkeeper Mwadini Ali whose heroics raised the status of the team in the championship.