Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Kim Relishes Cameroon Challenge

THE national soccer team, Taifa Stars, head Coach Kim Poulsen is eagerly anticipating the forthcoming international friendly against Cameroon and believes the game will be a good test for his side ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifier against Morocco.

The Tanzanian outfit will face the former African champions, Cameroon, in an international build-up match at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam next Wednesday, which is FIFA date for international friendlies. "It will be a tough game and a good test for us.

We are ready, we'll maintain our style because (the match) will be part of our preparations for the game against Morocco," Poulsen told journalists in Dar es Salaam when unveiling his squad for the visit of the Indomitable Lions.

Ahead of next month's encounter against Morocco, Poulsen made a scouting trip to South Africa to watch the Atlas Lions as well as other World Cup qualifying Group C opponents, Ivory Coast, in action at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations. He returned home earlier this week.

The Dane knows that a positive result against Cameroon could help his side grow in confidence ahead of their double header against Morocco, scheduled for March 24 and June 7 this year, and a penultimate clash at home to the continental powerhouse, Ivory Coast set for June 14.

Poulsen used the press conference to unveil his 21-man squad for Wednesday's friendly, in which he dropped left-back Amir Maftah and towering striker John Bocco. The two players are the only absentees from the side that lost 2-1 away to Ethiopia in an international friendly match last month.

Pouslen has also opted against recalling in-form Yanga striker Jerryson Tegete, with the Danish tactician retaining DR Congo-based duo of Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu, who ply their trade at TP Mazembe.

The full squad includes goalkeepers Juma Kaseja (Simba), Mwadini Ali (Azam) and Aishi Manula (Azam), defenders; Erasto Nyoni (Azam), Masoud Nassoro (Simba), Aggrey Morris (Azam), Nadir Haroub (Yanga), Kelvin Yondani (Yanga), Shomari Kapombe (Simba) and Issa Rashid (Mtibwa Sugar).

Midfielders are Amri Kiemba (Simba), Simon Msuva (Yanga), Frank Domayo (Yanga), Shabani Nditi (Mtibwa Sugar), Salum Abubakar (Azam), Khamis Mcha (Azam), Athuman Idd (Yanga) and Mwinyi Kazimoto (Simba) while Simba's Mrisho Ngassa completes the list of strikers.

The Taifa Stars, which is sponsored by the Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, will enter residential training camp today in preparation for the friendly, which will be kicking off at 17:00hrs. The Cameroon team, which most of its players are playing professional football abroad, will start arriving on Sunday.

The match is expected to attract a galaxy of stars including four-time CAF player of the Year Samuel Eto'o as well as Barcelona's Alex Song, who have been drafted in the 21-man squad.

The former African champions will reportedly converge in Amsterdam before they come to Tanzania that has attracted high profile friendlies in recent years. The Indomitable Lions failed to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations for the second time in a row after they were eliminated by Cape Verde who have reached the quarterfinals in South Africa.

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