Tanzania, Kenya renew rivalry in CHAN qualifier

TANZANIA (2)

Exactly a month after facing off at the just ended Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019, Tanzania and Kenya will meet again, this time in the qualifiers for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Cameroon 2020.

The familiar foes will rekindle their rivalry on Sunday in the first leg clash of the Dar es Salaam, with a place at the final round of the Central-East Zone qualifiers for the competition designed exclusively for footballers playing their country of birth.

Tanzania lost 3-2 to Kenya during the AFCON in Cairo after jumping into the lead twice, and interim coach Etienne Ndayiragije is upbeat about a positive result ahead of the return leg next week in Nairobi.

Ndayiragije replaced Nigerian Emmanuel Amuneke, who parted ways after the dismal performance of the Taifa Stars in Egypt, failing to go past the group stage after three losses.

“We have started our preparations well and the players have shown quality and character. I’m optimistic that every player will be ready to play,” the Burundian trainer told CAFOnline.com in Dar es Salaam.

“Every game is tough. This is the game that we need to win, it’s a knockout, if you lose you are out, we cannot afford that. We know that Kenya is a good team but we will play well to win and ease pressure for the return leg.”

Veteran goalkeeper, Juma Kaseja makes a return to the national team for the first time in six years, and is hoping to guide the team to a good outing against the Harambee Stars.

“I am very happy to rejoin the national team. As a senior goalkeeper I knows the task that awaits us ahead of the game, but we will give our best to win,” said Kaseja who made his debut for Tanzania in 2002, and was last called to the Taifa Stars in 2013.

Elsewhere, Ethiopia, whose request to participate in the qualifiers after being stripped of the hosting rights was granted by the CAF Executive Committee, face next door neighbours Djibouti on Friday at the Hassan Gouled Stadium. The same venue is due to host Somalia against Uganda 24-hours later.

In Bujumbura, Burundi will lock horns with South Sudan in the final game of the Central-East Zone qualifiers.

For the Central Zone, Central African Republic will be at home to Sao Tome whilst Chad battles Equatorial Guinea in N'Djamena.

Neighbours Benin and Togo will play each other in the only fixture for West B Zone.

In West A Zone, Guinea Bissau face Mali, Cape Verde versus Mauritania and Liberia against Senegal in Bissau, Praia and Monrovia respectively.

The Lesotho - South Africa clash in Maseru headlines the South Zone qualifiers . Namibia travel to Moroni as guests of Comoros, Eswatini against Angola in Manzini whilst Botswana and Zambia face off in Francistown.

Fresh from their exploits at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations, Madagascar welcome Mozambique to Mahamasina, and Mauritius against Zimbabwe in Flacq.

Fixtures

Central Zone (First Round)

28.07.2019 Bangui Central African Rep vs Sao Tome

28.07.2019 N’Djamena Chad vs Equatorial Guinea

West B Zone (First Round)

28.07.2019 Porto Novo Cotonou Benin vs Togo

West A Zone (First Round)

27.07.2019 Bissau Guinea Bissau vs Mali

27.07.2019 Praia Cape Verde vs Mauritania

28.07.2019 Monrovia Liberia vs Senegal

Central-East Zone (First Round)

26.07.2019 Djibouti Djibouti vs Ethiopia

27.07.2019 Bujumbura Burundi vs South Sudan

27.07.2019 Djibouti Somalia vs Uganda

28.07.2019 Dar es Salaam Tanzania vs Kenya

South Zone (Second Round)

26.07.2019 Moroni Comoros vs Namibia

26.07.2019 Francistown Botswana vs Zambia

28.07.2019 Manzini Eswatini vs Angola

28.07.2019 Mahamasina Madagascar vs Mozambique

28.07.2019 Maseru Lesotho vs South Africa

28.07.2019 Flacq Mauritius vs Zimbabwe