Lesotho/Tanzania: Kapombe, Mandawa May Miss Lesotho Encounter

Dar es Salaam — Two national soccer team (Taifa Stars) players, Shomari Kapombe and Rashid Mandawa are in doubt to play in the crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) encounter against Lesotho to be held in Maseru on Sunday due to injury.

Kapombe who is among the versatile players in the team, is now suffering from an ankle injury and did not train with the team yesterday. Mandawa who is a striker, also did not train with the team yesterday according to Taifa Stars team manager, Danny Msangi.

Msangi said the two players sustained injuries during the team's training sessions and they are now awaiting medical report from the team doctors.

"I cannot say if the players will feature in the game or not, but currently are nursing their injuries and the medical report will determine their fate," said Msangi through telephone.

He said the other players are doing fine and Shaaban Idd Chilunda who plays for Spanish side, Club Deportivo Tenerife in Segunda Division has already joined the team. Chilunda was in the country correcting travelling documents.

"Players are in top morale and enjoyed the training, we are determining to win the match in order to book space in the next year's Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon, it is a do-or-die encounter," insisted Msangi.

Taifa Stars - who are currently placed second in Group-L after collecting five points so far - need victory in the encounter in order to qualify for the finals to be played in Cameroon from June 15 to July 23 next year, featuring 24 teams.

Uganda is leading Group-L with 10 points - and needs only one more point to qualify for the finals of the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). To that end, Uganda will host Cape Verde in Kampala on the same date, November 18 this year.

Meanwhile, Taifa Stars leave today by bus to Maseru ahead of the Sunday encounter. The team will leaveearly in the morning and will have three training sessions while in Maseru. The Stars trip to Maseru is for two hours from Bloemfontein.

"We will have not less than three training sessions in Maseru ahead of the match, that will be for sharpening the team's skills in all departments," said Msangi.

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