Egypt: Mkwassa Upbeat About Chances Against Egypt

Tanzania coach Charles Boniface Mkwassa is confident his side’s performance against Kenya on Sunday in a friendly has boosted their confidence heading into a crucial AFCON 2017 qualifier against Egypt next month.

Egypt have only one match remaining and will only need a draw against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on Saturday, 4 June 2016 to confirm their place at next year’s finals.

With just a point from two games, the Taifa Stars are holding on to the slimmest of hopes in the remaining two games, which they have to win to remain in contention.

“We know it is a very huge assignment for us. Egypt will come to the match defending because they need only one point to progress. For us, we have not lost hope as yet. We know we stand a chance though a slim one but we will work hard to see what comes of it,” Mkwassa told the media after his side played to a one-all draw with Kenya in a friendly match in Nairobi last Sunday.

Mkwassa paraded a squad of locally based players for the match missing four of his most priced assets in KRC Genk striker Mbwana Samatta, TP Mazembe’s Thomas Ulimwengu, Free State Stars’ Mrisho Ngassa and Azam’s John Bocco.

Elias Maguli scored Tanzania’s goal in the 33rd minute after heading in a cross from Juma Abdoul. Kenya skipper Victor Wanyama levelled matters six minutes later from the spot after Abdoul brought down Ayub Timbe inside the box.

Kenya fielded a full strength squad, only missing top striker Michael Olunga who was held up on club duty while defender Brian Mandela and midfielder Johannah Omollo playing in South Africa and Belgium respectively were ruled out with injury.

Kenya is preparing to play Congo next Sunday in a Group E Day Five clash, with the former already eliminated from the race after bagging just a point from as many matches.

Congo occupies second spot in the group, a point behind leaders Guinea Bissau and will need to beat Kenya to boost their chances of qualification. Third placed Zambia, also on six points will face leaders Guinea Bissau in another match that will shape the race in the group.

Kenya captain Wanyama has urged his team mates to treat the Congo match with as much seriousness despite the fact it will be non-consequential for them.

Source: Confederation of African Football