Uganda Cranes pave way for Taifa Stars

18Nov 2018
Fred Ogot
DAR ES SALAAM
Guardian On Sunday
Uganda Cranes pave way for Taifa Stars

Tanzania’s national soccer side Taifa Stars will be fighting to win today to become the second team to qualify for Afcon finals when they play away Lesotho.

Stars will need to win the match at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru in order to be the second team to qualify in the group.

Uganda Cranes were the first to qualify when they piped Cape Verde 1-0 in their qualifying match at Namboole Stadium yesterday.

A Patrick Kaddu goal in the 78th minute was enough to send Uganda Cranes into next year’s Cameroon Afcon finals.

Uganda have 13 points which cannot be reached by any other team in the group.

Tanzania who are placed second in the group, with five points from four games, need to win in Maseru to reach eight points and be the second team in the group to qualify.

Stars have reaped five points, winning a single match, drawing two games while losing once. They have scored three goals while conceding four goals in their four outings. On the other hand, Lesotho are at the bottom of the table with two points from two draws, scoring two goals from their four outings.

Uganda Cranes are at the summit of the table with 13 points from five games, scoring six goals and are the only side in group L yet to concede a goal. Cape Verde are third with four points.

However, Stars trained by Nigerian tactician Emmanuel Amunike are in upbeat mood despite the fact that they will miss some their notable players including Genk striker Mbwana Samatta who is serving a three yellow card suspension.

Other players who will be out of the game from injuries are experienced Simba defender Shomari Kapombe and striker Rashid Mandawa who turns for BDF XI of Botswana.

Amunike believes that the absence of the trio will not affect the team as he has a number of good and capable players in his squad to fight for victory.

The former Nigerian international is likely depend on professional and experienced players such as Simba goalie Aishi Manula, Simon Msuva who plays for Difaa Hassan El-Jadidi of Morocco, Abdi Banda who features for South Africa’s Baroka FC, Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Aggrey Morris (Azam FC), Himid Mao who plays for Petrojet of Egypt and Hassan Kessy who turns for Nkana FC of Zambia.

Others will be John Bocco and Shiza Kichuya both of Simba.