Battle for supremacy

GroupsA-Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi,          SomaliaB- Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea,          DjiboutiC- Sudan, Ethiopia, Zanzibar

Groups

A-Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi,          Somalia

B- Rwanda, Uganda, Eritrea,          Djibouti

C- Sudan, Ethiopia, Zanzibar

Fixtures
Dec. 8  Kenya v Tanzania

Dec. 9  Uganda v Djibouti

 Rwanda v Eritrea,

Dec. 10  Somalia v Burundi,

 Sudan v Zanzibar

Dec.11  Djibouti v Eritrea,

 Rwanda v Uganda

Dec. 12  Kenya v Burundi

 Somalia v Tanzania

Dec. 13  Zanzibar v Ethiopia

Dec. 14   Djibouti v Uganda

 Kenya v Somalia

Dec.15 Ethiopia v Sudan

 Burundi v Tanzania

Dec.16  Rest Day

Dec. 17 Quarter finals

 A1 v B3  

 C2 v A 2

 Dec. 18  B1 v A3

 C1 v B2

Dec. 20  Semi-finals

Dec. 22  Finals

Amavubi Stars local coaches Jean Marie Ntagwabira and Antoinne Rutsindura are confident about the team’s chances of progressing to the quarter-finals of the GTV Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.

The tournament runs between December 8 and 22 in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam.

The pair was named as assistants to head Coach Josip, also appointed just over a fortnight ago by the local football ruling body, Ferwafa and the Sports ministry.

Talking to Times Sport yesterday, one day after the draws were made, both Ntagwabira and Rutsindura noted that drawing Uganda in the same group is no surprise so they expect history to repeat itself.

“We have young, talented and disciplined players who would be able to play winning football not only against Uganda but any team they face.

“And we (coaching staff) hope to assemble the best possible squad which could go on to win the tournament,” Rutsindura said.

And his comments were echoed by colleague, Ntagwabira who said, “Drawing Uganda in the same group is no big surprise to us but those are the sort of games any coach look out for”.

Ntagwabira is not stranger to facing bitter rivals and close neighbors and expects a tough battle between the sets of players when the curtains open on December 11.

He noted, “Although they (Uganda Cranes) have always been the favorites in the past Cecafa tournament every time we meet than, I won’t be surprised when recent history repeats itself”.

The Amavubi Stars stunned the Cranes 1-0 in the semi-final of the same tournament which was held in Kigali two years ago but went on to lose the final by a similar score line against Ethiopia.

And also, last year, Rwanda defeated the Uganda 4-2 on spot kicks to take the third position in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Rwanda go into this year’s tournament hoping to add to her only regional title won in 1999 when event was held in Kigali for the very first time.

Along with rivals Uganda, Rwanda is the favourite to progress to the last eight from this group. Eritrea and Djibouti would battle for the third place.

Three team from Groups A and B plus two from Group C, would qualify for the quarterfinal.

However, there is going to be yet another old rivalry renewed when Kenya’s Harambee Stars go up against Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Stars in the opening match of the tournament on December 8 from Group A. 

Ends

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