Poulsen announces Tanzania squad for CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup

17Jul 2021
Michael Mwebe
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Poulsen announces Tanzania squad for CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup

TANZANIA's national U-23 soccer team's head coach, Kim Poulsen, has unveiled the traveling team for the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup being held in Ethiopia.

Kagera Sugar striker, Yusufu Mhilu, is included in the squad as one of the senior players joining Namungo FC striker, Reliants Lusajo, and midfielder, Bryson Raphael of Azam FC.

The tournament's regulations allow the inclusion of up to three players who are above the 23 years' age cap.

Fullback Nickson Kibabage, who is on loan at Youssoufia Berrechid Morocco, is the only foreign-based player in the 20-man squad.

Tanzania landed a tough draw as they are pooled in Group A alongside Uganda and DR Congo, who are the invited guest team in the tournament. The tournament kicks off on Sunday.

The team is set to depart for Bahir Dar, Ethiopia on Monday, with the first game against DR Congo set for Wednesday.

Nine teams will battle for the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup. The teams have been divided into the three groups.

Apart from Group A, Ethiopia, Burundi and Eritrea will battle in Group B, while Group C has Djibouti, South Sudan and Kenya.

The best top teams in each of the groups will automatically qualify for the semi-finals, while the best runners-up from any of the three groups also gets to the last four.

The team that is classified in ninth position after the group stage will not play more games, the other teams classified fifth to eighth will also play in a mini contest to determine the final rankings.

The semi-finals will be played on July 28, while the final is expected to take center stage on July 31. All matches will be played at the Bahir Dar Stadium.

“We are happy that finally our first tournament in 2021 is set to kick-off. We expect a very competitive competition,” CECAFA Executive Director, Gecheo, noted during the draw on Monday.

Tanzania's Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Metacha Mnata (Yanga), Daniel Mgore (Biashara United), Wilbroad Maseke (Azam FC).

Defenders: Israel Mwenda, Lusajo Mwaikenda (KMC FC), Oscar Masai (Ihefu SC), Paschal Msindo (Azam FC), Abdulmajid Mangalo (Biashara United).

Midfielders: Lucas kikoti (Namungo FC), Joseph Mkele (Mtibwa Sugar), Rajab Athuman (Gwambina FC), Bryson Raphael (Azam FC).

Forwards: Meshack Abraham (Gwambina FC), Reliants Lusajo (Namungo FC), Abdul Suleiman (Coastal Union), Andrew Simchimba (Ihefu SC), Yusufu Mhilu (Kagera Sugar), Erick Mwijage (Kagera Sugar).

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