23 November 2017

Kenya/Tanzania: Rwanda, Tanzania Name Strong Squads

Burundi hit man Laudvit Mavugo and his Tanzanian counterpart Elias Maghuli are some of the big name players from the region who are set to grace the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kenya from December 3.

They were on Thursday named in the Tanzania and Burundi teams for this year's tournament.

New Harambee Stars coach Paul Put will thus have his work cut out for him when he leads the host nation against the regions' best sides in this annual football competition, that however failed to take place last year.

The Challenge Cup will be played in Kisumu and Kakamega. Nation Sport however understands that some security concerns have been raised over Kisumu because of the polarised political climate in the country and Machakos is being considered as an alternative venue.

Put, who guided Burkina Faso to the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, leads his 25-man squad to camp on Sunday.

Kenya are in Group A together with Rwanda, Tanzania, Zanzibar and Tanzania.

Against the Taifa Stars, Kenya, who have won this tournament six times, will come up against a top marksman in the frame of Maghuli who scored the opening goal when Kenya and Tanzania last played to a one-all draw in an international friendly at Kasarani in May last year.

The 26-year old forward is said to be on the verge of joining top Dar club Yanga SC.

Another stand-out players in Tanzania's squad, handled by local coach Amy Condrad Ninje, is Azam FC custodian Aishi Manula who manned the posts when his club defeated Gor Mahia to win the Cecafa Kagame Cup in Dar in 2015.

Azam skipper Erasto Nyoni, dependable Simba midfielder Himid Mao plus Sony Sugar winger Abdalla Hamisi are also part of the set-up for the Tanzanians, who will be eyeing their fourth title.

Meanwhile, goal poacher Mavugo, formerly of Vital 'O' in his home country but currently stationed at the Msimbazi street based Simba in Dar will lead Burundi's attack.

He will be complimented by South Africa based Abdoul Fiston Razak who was once in the books of Kenyan club Sofapaka.

Leopards forward Alexis Kitenge misses out of head coach Oliver Niyugeko's squad as he is nursing a hamstring injury, but there is space for creative midfielder Pierre Kwizera who has been named the best player in the Rwandan league in the past two years.

Burundi, who have never won this tournament, face the tournament's record champions Uganda Cranes, guest team Zimbabwe, alongside Ethiopia and South Sudan in group B.

Tanzania squad:

Goalkeepers - Aishi Manula and Peter Manyika

Defenders - Boniphace Mganga, Gadiel Micheal, Kelvin Yondai, Erasto Nyoni, Mohammed Hussein and Kenny Wilson

Midfielders - Himid Mao, Mahims Abdullah, Mzamiru Yassin, Raphael David, Jonas Mkude, Shixa Kichuya, Ibrahim Ajiba and Abdul Hilal

Strikers - Elias Maghuli, Mbaraka Yusuph, Yohana Mkomola and Daniel Lyanga

Burundi squad:

Goalkeepers - Ruhundo Onesime, Nahimana Jonathan, Mutombolo Fabien

Defenders - Moussa Omar, Nshirimana David, Ndoriyobija Eric, Harerimana Rashid Leon, Barisinze Nassor, Ndukumana Tresor, Mwendebantu John, Kamana Ismael

Midfielders - Kwizera Pierre, Dudayinavyi Gael, Urasenga Cedrick, Ndayishimiye Youssouf, Nahimana Shasiri, Hererimana Moussa, Ndikumana Moussa.

Strikers - Abdoul Fiston, Moussa Mossi, Shabani Hussein, Shaka Bievienue, Mavugo Laudit, Slim Saidi, Iddy Muselemu.

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