KILIMANJARO Stars Coach Kim Poulsen has said his side will be out to thrash Somalia and book an automatic slot in the quarterfinals of the CECAFA Tusker Senior Challenge Cup after they conceded a disappointing 1-0 loss to Burundi on Wednesday.
"I believe we will qualify to the quarter finals. I have faith in this young team which has shown intent to win this tournament. They have gathered some good experience and they are aiming to go all the way," Poulsen said after the game at Namboole Stadium. Poulsen lauded Burundi, saying they played well and deserved to win but reserved special praises to his young squad.
"It was a tough game for both teams and with such kind of surface, mistakes are prone to happen. We had one mistake and we paid for it via a penalty. I have to give credit to Burundi who played really well. We also played equally well and created great chances especially in the second half.
To me, the man of the match should go to the Burundi keeper because he really kept them in the game," Poulsen said after the match. "I have to give credit to my team as well because we showed great character even after going down by a goal. We attacked with intent and worked hard," he adds.
At the same time, Midfielder Mwinyi Kazimoto and defender Shomari Kapombe are doubtful for the team's final group match against Somalia after they picked up injuries in the Burundi match. Poulsen added: "It is still early to say whether they are out of the whole tournament but looking at their reactions after being injured, I can tell that we might miss them for the next match.
I just hope that they will recover in time for the quarters if we qualify." Burundi Assistant Coach Amars Niyongabo said: "So far, we are impressed with the new players and generally as a team. We have played well our last two matches and we are now in the quarter finals."
"Tanzania was a good team and beating them gives us that satisfactory feeling. We are taking each match at a time and we hope to go far in the tournament," added Niyongabo. Meanwhile, Sudan hope to beat Burundi in their final group match and hope Somalia holds Tanzania to assure them of an automatic place in the quarter finals.
Sudan laboured hard to beat Somalia 1-0 and give a breath of life to their chances of qualifying to the quarterfinals. Coach Mubarak Slyiman says they have to win against Burundi since their eyes are focused in the least at a quarter finals place.
"We have to get into the Quarter finals because that was our least target coming to this tournament. Burundi will be a tough opponent because they have not lost a match and they are a very good team," notes the coach.
The Coach was happy with the result against Somalia, though like all other coaches said the Namboole pitch was difficult to play in due to its slippery condition after the morning rains.
"It was a 50-50 match, very difficult because of the conditions of the pitch but I am happy we won though we did not play very well. We are moving step by step and I think we are very improved from the first game," he adds.