Tanzania/Egypt: Stars Coach Plots Egyptian Fall

Taifa Stars head coach, Charles Boniface Mkwasa says his team will approach their upcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) penultimate clash with Egypt as a final.

Mkwasa’s charges are set to host the Pharaohs of Egypt at the National Stadium this Saturday, in a crucial match that will decide Tanzania’s fate in the race for AFCON ticket.

Speaking after Sunday’s 1-all draw in a build-up match against Kenya, Mkwasa said he expects a sterner test from the Group H leaders billed as favourites as they need just to avoid a 4-0 defeat to have their place in the Gabon finals confirmed.

“I know Egypt have been scouting us and were here for the past three days. They need just a draw to qualify for the finals, but they will not get it against Tanzania,” a confident Mkwasa said.

Mkwasa said he was pleased with his team’s show against Kenya and is adamant the Stars players will put up a spirited performance against the seven-time African champions come Saturday.

“It will be a tough match but we are well prepared. We will approach it like a final. As I said, Egypt will be looking for one point, but we need all three points.” The former midfielder was not bothered by the presence of Egyptian delegation scouting his team, saying “They won’t succeed (in their mission) because soccer is the game of different approach, our approach against Kenya will not be the same against Egypt… I’ll have a different approach.

” Mkwasa insisted that Stars are determined to get positive results against Egypt, which would revive their slim hopes of qualifying for the continental finals to be hosted by Gabon next year.

The Stars coach hailed his young players for a decent show against a star-studded Kenya side, which featured experienced players such Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama.

Promising youngsters such as Shiza Kichuya, Deus Kaseke and Mohamed Ibrahim got the chance to impress in the absence of few regular starters, including professional duo Mbwana Samata (Genk, Belgium) and Thomas Ulimwengu, TP Mazembe), who are yet to join the squad due to their club commitments.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian national team’s assistant coach Osama Nabih said on Sunday that all the foreign based players have joined the camp for the Tanzania game except for winger Mohamed Abdel-Shafi who was due in Cairo yesterday.

The Pharaohs Argentine coach Hector Cuper has called up six foreign-based players, including Roma winger Mohamed Salah and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, for the anticipated clash against Tanzania in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for 4 June.

“All preparations for the Tanzania game are going well; we are organising a recovery session for the players to be fit for the game,” Nabih told a television programme late on Saturday.

“Mohamed Abdel-Shafi will be the last foreign based player to join the camp after playing for his Saudi team Ahly in the Custodian of the Holly Mosques Cup on Sunday,” he added.

Egypt canceled a friendly game against DR Congo that was scheduled for 29 May after Cuper decided that the team should not play the match. “I thank god that the DR Congo friendly match was cancelled as we need time to prepare the players for the game against Tanzania,” Egypt’s assistant coach explained.

Osama Nabih confirmed that all of Egypt’s national team players are fit for the game against Tanzania but that some players need to take part in the rehabilitation programme.

“Ahly player Sabri Rahil has been suffering from pelvis pain and will undergo a scan to determine the seriousness of his injury as he needs 48 hours before defining his situation from the game,” Nabih said.

“Midfielder Hossam Ashour is also suffering from fatigue and needs rest.”

Egypt, who are on the verge of reaching the Nations Cup for the first time since 2010, need to avoid a 4-0 loss when they face Tanzania away on 4 June to secure a place in next year’s continental competition.

The seven-time African champions are leading groupfa Stars Plots Egyptian’s Pharaohs Down Fallfa Stars Plots Egyptian’s Pharaohs Down Fall G with seven points, five ahead of second-placed Nigeria and six clear of third-placed Tanzania.

Source: Tanzania Daily News