Africa: Burundi to Battle Tanzania in CECAFA U-23 Cup Final

The curtains will be drawn at the regional CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup when Burundi face Tanzania in the final at the Bahir Dar Stadium in Ethiopia on Friday.

To reach the final, Burundi defeated Kenya's Emerging Stars 4-2 in penalty shootout after a goalless draw, while Tanzania saw off hard fighting South Sudan 1-0 in the other semifinal.

Burundi's coach Jimmy Ndayizeye said that although getting to the final is a good step, winning the trophy would make it much sweeter for his team. "We are determined to play good football and try to win the trophy. I am very happy with the progress of my young players at this tournament," said Ndayizeye.

The Burundian coach said that although he rates the Tanzania team highly, he believes his team can employ an approach that can win them the trophy.

Tanzania who missed the services of first choice goalkeeper Boniface Mnata Metacha have also vowed to give a good account in the final. Tanzania coach Kim Poulsen said his players are well motivated for the final.

"They are all prepared and ready to give their best in the final. Burundi will be a very difficult team to play, but we shall plan accordingly," said Poulsen whose team has only conceded one goal from three matches played.

Meanwhile Uganda stopped Eritrea 2-1 on Wednesday in a classification match to finish 5th. Najib Yiga and Steven Mukwala netted for Uganda, before Yonathan Goytom scored at the stroke of full time for Eritrea.

"I am happy that my players have got the much needed exposure in this tournament where we played four matches," said Eritrea's Coach Abraha Zewde Mekonnen after the match.

Hosts Ethiopia also settled for 7th place after seeing of guest side Democratic Republic of Congo 2-1 in another classification match palyed on Wednesday.

Asrat Tonjo Toylo put Ethiopia in the lead in the first half before Chernet Gusa Beshal made it 2-0. DR Congo pulled one back through Karim Kimvuidi Kiekie.

After the CECAFA U-23 Challenge Cup, the region will shift attention to the CECAFA Kagame Cup slated for August 1-15th in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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